Finance & Private Sector Development

November 18, 2020

A well-functioning financial system and a vigorous private sector are important drivers of growth and poverty reduction. Finance is central to private sector development and vice versa, and large parts of both sub-disciplines revolve around the behavior and performance of firms.

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    Bank Lending for Inclusive Growth: Incentives Matter

    November 2020
    Bank lending is a key driver of economic growth. However, large inefficiencies remain—particularly in developing countries—due to barriers that limit the flow of funds toward productive borrowers. In this Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist Claudia Ruiz-Ortega discussed access to novel datasets from banks, credit bureaus, and credit registries that help us better understand the dynamics of bank lending and the intended (and unintended) effects of public policies affecting banks drawing on research in Mexico, Peru, and Brazil.
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    Policies for Small and Informal Firms

    April 2020
    What types of policies can developing country governments use to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the private sector, and to spur a subsequent recovery? In this e-seminar on April 9, 2020, Leonardo Iacovone, Lead Economist (World Bank), Santiago Levy, Senior Fellow (The Brookings Institution), Miriam Bruhn, Senior Economist (World Bank) discussed policy options to aid small and informal firms, drawing on lessons from past crisis experiences. Timestamps: 3:15 - Iacovone; 19:25 - Levy; 33:00 - Bruhn; 49:30 - Discussion and Q&A
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    Plagues, Rebellions, and Wars: The Unexpected Development Benefits of Historical Shocks

    April 2019
    In this Policy Research Talk, economist Colin Xu provided a sweeping account of the history of wars, rebellions, and epidemics from the perspective of economics and political economy. He drew on studies of the long-term impact of historical conflicts and other large shocks to show how they affect long-term demographic transitions and economic transformations.


The Interplay of Policy, Institutions, and Culture in the Time of Covid-19
Sheng Fang, L. Colin Xu, Yuanyuan Yi
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9470, November 2020

Credit Constraints and Fraud Victimization: Evidence from a Representative Chinese Household Survey
Nan Gao, Yuanyuan Ma, Lixin Colin Xu
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9460, October 2020

The Role of Gender in Agent Banking: Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Richard Chamboko, Robert Cull, Xavier Giné, Soren Heitmann, Fabian Reitzug, Morne Van Der Westhuizen
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9449, October 2020

Estimating the Demand for Business Training:  Evidence from Jamaica
Alessandro Maffioli, David McKenzie, Diego Ubfal
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9415, September 202020

Banking Sector Performance During the COVID-19 Crisis
Asli Demirguc-Kunt, Alvaro Pedraza, Claudia Ruiz-Ortega
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9363, August 2020 | Blog

More Working Papers »


Contracting Under Uncertainty: Groundwater In South India
Xavier Giné, Hanan G. Jacoby, Quantitative Economics 11 (1): 399–435, January 2020

Asset price effects of peer benchmarking: Evidence from a natural experiment
Alvaro Pedraza, Fredy Pulga, International Review of Economics & Finance 62: 53-65, July 2019

Can Grants to Consortia Spur Innovation and Science-Industry Collaboration? Regression- Discontinuity Evidence from Poland
Miriam Bruhn, David McKenzie, The World Bank Economic Review 33 (3): 690–716, October 2019



GFDR 2020 book and globe image

Global Financial Development Report 2019 / 2020: Bank Regulation and Supervision a Decade after the Global Financial Crisis
Drawing on 10 years of data and analysis, the 5th edition of the report reflects on the causes of the crisis and the regulatory remedies adopted to prevent future financial troubles.

Report |  Video |  Dataset |  Blog |  Previous Reports

Global Findex 2017 cover
The Global Findex Database 2017: Measuring Financial Inclusion and the Fintech Revolution
The Global Findex database is the world’s most comprehensive data set on how adults save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. Globally, 69 percent of adults – 3.8 billion people – now have an account at a bank or mobile money provider, a crucial step in escaping poverty.
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Robert Cull

World Development Report 2021 Co-Director, Development Economics, and Research Manager, Finance and Private Sector, Development Research Group
Research Staff »