The impact of formal financial services uptake on asset holdings in Kenya: Causal evidence from a propensity score-matching approach

Author: Baraka Msulwa, Richard Chamboko, Celina Lee, Jaco Weideman and Krista Nordin

Article history:
Received: 10th March, 2019
Accepted: 11th December 2019
Handling editor: Jones Odei Mensah, PhD


Literature on the impact of financial services on economic wellbeing has largely relied on findings from randomised control trials. Given the scarcity of such trials, this has led to gaps in the sector’s understanding of financial inclusion as a development tool, hence a lack of consensus on whether financial inclusion as a strategy indeed leads to improved individual outcomes. To close this gap, this study employs the propensity score-matching technique on the 2016 FinAccess Kenya Household Survey dataset to estimate the average treatment effect of taking up financial services. Our findings suggest that individual take-up of savings, credit and insurance have positive effects on household economic welfare.

financial inclusion, development, asset ownership, propensity score matching, multiple correspondence analysis

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