ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Accessing Institutional Finance: A Demand Side Story for Rural India

Under the Reserve Bank of India's "financial inclusion" campaign, the provision of institutional finance has been progressing at differential rates across the country. However, when we pair administrative banking data on availability of bank branches in a state with the All India Debt and Investment Survey (2002-03) capturing both institutional and non-institutional borrowing by households, we find that states with the most access to institutional finance, or supply, are not necessarily the ones with the most demand for finance. Looking at household level data within each state we identify determinants of institutional borrowing, and some of the strongest predictors for accessing institutional finance. A number of empirical regularities emerge in terms of the importance of having assets like land for borrowing, which undermines the basic philosophy of financial inclusion.



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