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Financial literacy in emerging economies: Do all components matter for financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda?

George Okello Candiya Bongomin, John C. Munene, Joseph Mpeera Ntayi and Charles Akol Malinga

Managerial Finance, 2017, vol. 43, issue 12, 1310-1331

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of individual components of financial literacy in promoting financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. Design/methodology/approach - The study was cross-sectional combined with correlation and regression analyses. Data were collected from 400 poor households drawn from four regions in rural Uganda. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test for the contribution of individual components of financial literacy on financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. In addition, confirmatory factor analysis was used to establish existence of convergent validity between the items used to measure the different constructs under study. Furthermore, analysis of variance was also adopted to test for variation in perceptions of poor households on being financially included. Findings - The results generated from the study revealed that only attitude as a component of financial literacy significantly and positively predicts financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. Contrary to previous thinking and empirical studies, behavior, knowledge, and skills are not significant predictors of financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. Overall, the combined effect of the different components of financial literacy explains about 11.2 percent of the variance in financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. Research limitations/implications - The study was not without limitations. The study adopted only cross-sectional study design, thus, leaving out longitudinal study. Therefore, future studies employing longitudinal research design worth undertaking. Furthermore, the sample although large enough focused only on poor households located in rural Uganda, therefore, ignoring peri-urban and urban areas in Uganda. Besides, the study used only quantitative data, thus, qualitative study using key informant interviews may be considered for further research. Practical implications - The paper indicates that policy makers, advocates of financial inclusion and researchers, should reconsider investigating individual contribution of the different components of financial literacy in promoting financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. For researchers, it is important to re-analyze the individual components of financial literacy of behavior, knowledge, skills, and attitude in influencing financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. Originality/value - This paper combines both functional components (behavior and attitude) and non-functional measures (knowledge and skills) of financial literacy to explain financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda. Most financial literacy studies have mainly adopted only non-functional measures of knowledge and skills. Besides, these studies ignore the individual contribution of functional components and non-functional measures of financial literacy in explaining financial inclusion of poor households. Thus, this study is the first to examine the impact of individual components of financial literacy in explaining financial inclusion of poor households in rural Uganda.

Keywords: Financial inclusion; Financial literacy; Behaviour and attitude; Financial knowledge and skills; Functional components; Rural Uganda; 3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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