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Financial Inclusion Index at District Levels in Bangladesh: A Distance-based Approach

Hasan, Md Rashel and Islam, Md Ezazul (2016): Financial Inclusion Index at District Levels in Bangladesh: A Distance-based Approach. Published in: Bangladesh Bank Working Paper Series No. 1603 (May 2016)

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Abstract

This paper computes an index of financial inclusion (IFI) of Bangladesh at the district levels by using a distance based approach and incorporating various dimensions of inclusive finance. The IFI indicates that most of the districts of Bangladesh have experienced significant progress in financial inclusion over the period of 2008 to 2014 with the exception of Khagrachhari, Netrokona, Kurigram, and Sunamganj. Furthermore, the financial inclusion map reflects that the process of financial inclusion gets accelerated at the end of 2010, just after the inclusive finance policy initiatives undertaken by Bangladesh Bank. Hence, the index can be used to compare the extent of financial inclusion across districts and to monitor the progress of the financial inclusion over time. The index value reflecting overall financial inclusion of Bangladesh increased to 0.697 in 2014 from 0.503 in 2008. There are policy implications of this finding for making inclusive finance strategies in Bangladesh. The index may guide Bangladesh Bank and the Government to pursue inclusive growth for reducing regional disparities to meet Vision 2021 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

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