Authors: Je-Al Burguillos, Danny Cassimon

Working paper 2020.01

This study explores the key factors that affected the deepening of financial inclusion across the 17 regions of the Philippines from 2013-2017. Using the regional multidimensional financial inclusion index (FII) developed by the BSP, the study finds out that significant heterogeneities exist among regions, and that they persist over time, suggesting most importantly that the least financially inclusive regions do not show significant progress. Moreover, using different panel estimation techniques, we try to determine the possible factors that affect this inter-regional financial inclusion heterogeneities. Overall, we show that regional GDP per capita, population, a proxy for the availability of physical infrastructure, and the degree of mobile penetration are among the robust factors explaining the financial inclusion variations across regions.

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