Financial Crises, Income Levels and Access to Finance

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In this study, we examine the impact of the 2008 Global Crisis on “access to finance” in high-income OECD, high-income non-OECD, middle-income, and low-income countries. We use three measures of access to finance. These are “Number of bank branches per 100,000 adults”, “Value traded of top 10 traded companies to total value traded (%)”, and “Market capitalization outside of top 10 largest companies to total market capitalization (%)”. During the run-up to the crisis and immediately after the crisis, we do not find any significant change in any of the three “access to finance” measures. We find that, during the crisis, only middle-income countries were affected significantly. These countries were affected in only one of the measures which is “Value traded of top 10 traded companies to total value traded (%)”. This measure went up and this change is marginally significant. We conclude that the global crisis only affected “access to finance” in middle-income countries.

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