Financial Inclusion and Household Welfare in Burundi: What are the Gender Dynamics?
Matthew, Ester Cosmas
Saleh, Abdulkarim Onah
African Economic Research Consortium
Despite an improving financial inclusion situation across the developing world, there still exist wide gender gaps in financial inclusion, especially in fragile and post conflict countries. Our study designed and implemented a survey consisting of 860 households across urban and rural Burundi to examine the effect of financial inclusion on household asset-based welfare from a gendered perspective. The study used the two-stage least squares (2SLS) regression method to overcome the endogenous nature of the financial inclusion index. The data revealed that most Burundian households preferred saving their money at home rather than at a financial institution. Also, mobile money was mainly employed as a means of receiving and withdrawing cash. Results from our 2SLS indicate that improved financial inclusion has a greater effect on the welfare of female-headed households than on male-headed households. This study recommends developing regulatory and institutional frameworks that can best encourage higher financial inclusion for female-headed households. Additionally, there is need for policies that can permit access to credit through the mobile money platform since that is the widely used financial inclusion avenue for female-headed households in Burundi.
Burundi; Financial inclusion; Gender, Fragile and post-conflict countries; Welfare.