Domenica Federico, Antonella Notte

Financial Services As a Tool Against Poverty: Microfinance and Microcredit

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Financial Services; Bank Credit; Informal Financial Channels; Microfinance; Microcredit; Italy.

In recent years, the increase in the number of people with difficulties in accessing financial services and living in developed countries has promoted a new financial culture and encouraged the development of an inclusive financial system. In fact, the ability of a marginalized agent to access to financial services is a necessary condition for a full participation to the economic and social life, thus affecting the economic growth and the stability of a country. Furthermore, there are many barriers to access to credit for people, especially families, who very often find themselves having to rely on personal wealth or other forms of internal resources to invest in some business activities or to realize some growing opportunities. Difficulties in accessing credit often lead families to resort to the informal system to meet their financial needs or to autoexclude themselves from the financial system. The paper aims to identify the main determinants that can influence the financial choices of Italian families in accessing credit using banking channels or, alternatively, informal financial means, such as credit obtained from relatives and friends, rather than self-exclude themselves from the financial system. Finally, the study intends to put in evidence how microfinance can be an important innovative financial measure which will facilitate access to credit and to other financial services in order to help the lower classes of people and to mitigate the phenomena of poverty and inequality in access to economic resources. The study is realized through a multinomial logistic regression applied to a sample of data extracted from the «Survey on Italian household budgets» (recently produced by the Bank of Italy), which covers 8,151 households surveyed. The results show that some factors such as sex, marital status, different types of employment, amount of debt, net income could have a significant impact on the financing choices of Italian families.

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