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Theories of financial inclusion

Ozili, Peterson K (2020): Theories of financial inclusion. Forthcoming in:

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Abstract

This article presents several theories of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion is the ease of access to, and the availability of, basic financial services to all members of the population. Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs in a responsible and sustainable way. Financial inclusion practices vary from country to country, and there is need to identify the underlying principles or propositions that explain the observed variation in financial inclusion practices. These set of principles or propositions are called theories. Financial inclusion theories are explanations for observed financial inclusion practices. This study shows that the ideas and perspectives on financial inclusion can be grouped into theories to facilitate meaningful discussions in the literature. The financial inclusion theories identified in this paper are useful to researchers, academics, policy makers and practitioners. The resulting contribution to theory development is useful to the problem-solving process in the global financial inclusion agenda.

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