Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 26 June 2018

Over the past six years, more than 1.2 billion adults have gained at least basic financial access through a financial institution or their mobile phone. This column discusses the benefits of financial inclusion, key trends regarding access since 2011, and the means for achieving the World Bank’s goal of universal financial access. It also argues that if the nations of Africa develop institutions to support strong, stable and balanced growth—including the necessary financial apparatus—they can become the primary drivers of global expansion in the remainder of the 21st century.

Stephen Cecchetti, 25 June 2018

Though central banks do not seem concerned about being driven obsolete by cryptocurrencies, some are considering issuing digital currencies with similar technology. Stephen Cecchetti discusses three policy implications this might have, namely for restricting the illegal use of cash, allowing for negative interest rates, and improving financial access. All three are possible, but come with risk.

CEPR Policy Research