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INDIVIDUAL’s BEHAVIOR AND ACCESS TO FINANCE: EVIDENCE FROM PALESTINE

Research paper by FADI HASSAN SHIHADEH

Indexed on: 22 Oct '19Published on: 16 Sep '19Published in: Singapore Economic Review, The



Abstract

The Singapore Economic Review, Ahead of Print. Governments and global institutions are working to enhance economic development as a key for sustainability by including disadvantaged people (including the poor, women, youth, and illiterate) in the financial system. This paper uses the World Bank Global Findex Database (2014) for 1000 Palestinians to examine the influence of individual behavior on financial inclusion in Palestine. This study used empirical methods to determine whether individual socioeconomic characteristics influence financial inclusion in Palestine. The results indicated that females were less likely to be included in financial transactions, especially transactions involving borrowing and formal accounts. Further, we learned that borrowing behavior in Palestine leans toward informal sources. Formal institutions have made remarkable efforts to develop an inclusive financial infrastructure in Palestine. However, the country’s unstable political climate continues to impede economic stability and individuals’ motivation to use formal financial resources such as credit. More efforts to specifically encourage youth, the poor, and women to use formal banking could enhance their access to financial services. Adopting Islamic financial services, and online banking would also improve financial inclusion for all of Palestine’s citizens and drive sustainable development. Further, theoretical and empirical studies of Palestine’s economic development are recommended.