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  • Author: Venkatachalam Anbumozhi
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Under the Paris Agreement in 2015, the opportunities for the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to maximise low-carbon energy sources to achieve the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target in reducing carbon emission levels have expanded. In order to move towards a low-carbon energy transition, private sector actors must work together with governments to implement strategies to invest in the low-carbon economy. However, major barriers such as insufficient enabling policy environment, availability of technologies and access to funding somehow impede the implementation. It is believed that unlocking the potentials of private sector would accelerate the transition of low-carbon energy. This paper, based on a market survey, which aimed to identify barriers and risks that private sectors face in accelerating the low-carbon investments. The survey respondents are divided into two categories, Lenders and Borrowers. Analysing 110 total respondents helped to identify the perceived and actual barriers as well as risks underlying to the access to financing and generated potential solution for policymakers to overcome these barriers. The survey results indicate that the main obstacles faced by private sectors are incoherent policies that created a high-risk environment for investment, a lack of access to de-risking mechanisms, and insufficient capacity to communicate the opportunities amongst financial institutions and project developers. To bare these risks, this paper suggests four interdependent solutions – establishment of a low-carbon transition fund, government warranty programme, broadening of de-risking mechanisms, and capacity building programme to accelerate the low-carbon energy transition across ASEAN.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Finance, Renewable Energy, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Rajabrata Banerjee, Ronald Donato, Admasu Afsaw Maruta
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study empirically examines the effects of financial inclusion on economic development, – economic growth, education, health, and income inequality – in 20 Asian countries in the period 2004-2015. The financial inclusion index at an aggregate level is constructed using a hybrid methodology (reported in the previous paper) and we empirically examine its relationship with particular development outcomes. We then disaggregate the index into the three dimensions of financial inclusions – access, usage, and quality – and further into the top two indicators from each dimension based on principal component analysis scores (reported in the previous paper), to examine whether specific dimensions or indicators are more strongly associated with particular development outcomes than with others. Our results show that aggregate financial inclusion has a strong positive effect on all development outcomes and this effect improves for countries with lower political risk. At the dimension level, while usage is the only dimension impacting on economic growth, and access is the only dimension impacting on health outcomes, both usage and access influence education and income inequality. Moreover, the top ranked indicators in each dimension exert a far greater positive influence on development outcomes than the second highest ranked indicators. Our findings show that adopting a single blanket policy may not be appropriate to realise the full potential of financial inclusion in a less developed country. Policy prescriptions should therefore target specific dimension and indicators of financial inclusion to maximise the positive effect on development outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Finance, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Rajabrata Banerjee, Ronald Donato
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The paper provides an overview of the existing measures of financial inclusion and critically evaluates the two widely used existing methodologies to measure the dimensions – the principal component analysis (PCA) method and the Distance method, respectively. We subsequently propose a new hybrid financial inclusion index, which draws on the strengths of existing measures. We propose four key stylised facts by critically evaluating three dimensions of financial inclusion – access, usage, and quality in 22 Asian countries in the period 2004-2015. Utilising PCA scores, we identify the top two indicators under each dimension and by country, which are directly relevant for policy perspectives. An important finding is that the top five and the bottom five countries are the same under all three methodologies. There is a pattern across countries in adopting usage, access, and quality dimensions of financial inclusion over time. We also find that the top two indicators appear to play a significant role across all developing countries in the sample.
  • Topic: Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Kimty Seng
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study analyses the effects of financial inclusion on poverty in terms of household income per capita in Cambodia, with data from the FinScope Survey carried out in 2015. The analysis describes the effects via financial literacy, accounting for endogenous selection bias resulting from unobserved confounders and for structural differences between users and non-users of financial services in terms of income functions. The findings suggest that the use of financial services is very likely to make a great contribution to reducing household budget deficits and poverty if the users, female in particular, have at least basic financial knowledge.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Finance, Financial Services
  • Political Geography: Asia, Cambodia
  • Author: Rashesh Shrestha, Samuel Nursamsu
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the status of financial inclusion in Indonesia and examines the impact of financial inclusion – based on availability of bank branches on household outcomes – in Indonesia. Based on analysis of the World Bank’s Financial Inclusion Survey (FINDEX) data, Indonesia has made some progress on expanding financial inclusion. The share of individuals with bank accounts rose from less than 20% to just under 50% in 2017. Interestingly, while the gain between 2011 and 2014 was greater for individuals in the upper 60 percentile of income, the gains between 2014 and 2017 were more pro-poor. This progress was made possible due to concerted government efforts to expand financial inclusion. In our empirical analysis, we study how financial inclusion enables households with income gains into savings for assets and earnings. Using the Indonesian Family Life Survey data, we find that living in areas with high density of bank branches helps poor households accumulate savings. The marginal effect of financial inclusion on savings is highest amongst the households in the bottom quintile of per capita consumption distribution. Thus, access to formal financial institutions can lead to improvement in household welfare.
  • Topic: Inequality, Finance, Banks, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia-Pacific, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Tony Cavoli, Ilke Onur, Patricia Sourdin
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Using the World Bank’s Global Findex data, this research first shows that the efforts by the Indian Government and the Reserve Bank have been successful in providing access to formal banking services, especially in the rural areas of the country. Similarly, financial account ownership gap has been eliminated in terms of gender and income. Further analysis, using the Financial Inclusion Insights dataset, shows that financial inclusion has a positive and significant effect on reducing poverty in India. A closer look at the utilisation of the financial accounts shows that active usage of these accounts would lead to further reductions in poverty levels in India. Therefore, targeted programmes, such as offering financial education both in and outside schools, with the aim of improving financial literacy, could lead to further poverty reduction in India.
  • Topic: Education, Poverty, Finance, Banks
  • Political Geography: India, Asia