Journal Article

What Can We Learn about Financial Access from U.S. Immigrants? The Role of Country of Origin Institutions and Immigrant Beliefs

Una Okonkwo Osili and Anna Paulson

in The World Bank Economic Review

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 431-455
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0258-6770
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1564-698X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wber/lhn019
What Can We Learn about Financial Access from U.S. Immigrants? The Role of Country of Origin Institutions and Immigrant Beliefs

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Immigrants from countries with more effective institutions are more likely than other immigrants to have a relationship with a bank and to use formal financial markets more extensively. The evidence that a country's institutional environment shapes beliefs—and by extension the use of financial services—provides support for policies that focus on institutional reforms in promoting financial access. After holding wealth, education, and other factors constant, the impact of institutional quality in the country of origin affects the financial market participation of all immigrant groups except those who have lived in the United States for more than 28 years. These findings are robust to alternative measures of institutional effectiveness, to controlling for additional country of origin characteristics, and to various methods for addressing potential biases caused by immigrant self-selection.

Keywords: O16; J61; G11

Journal Article.  9302 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development ; Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies ; Economics

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