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Financial Services and the Informal Economy

Cally Ardington and Murray Leibbrandt

No 66, SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers from Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of formality of employment on the utilisation of financial services, using data from the October 2000 Income and Expenditure Survey and the September 2000 Labour Force Survey. The presence of an employed member in the household is seen to be important for the utilisation of both bank accounts and funeral insurance, even after controlling for income. Furthermore there are strong links between the nature of this employment and utilisation of financial services. Employees are more likely to utilise financial services than the self-employed. Among employees, the probability of utilising financial services increases with the degree of formality of employment. These effects are stronger for formal banking services than for funeral insurance which includes informal burial societies.

Date: 2004
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