Does financial inclusion matter to population health? Insight from a global dataset

Acheampong, Alex O. and Tetteh, Godsway Korku (2024) Does financial inclusion matter to population health? Insight from a global dataset. Social Indicators Research, 172 (3). pp. 1005-1040. ISSN 1573-0921 (

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Currently, extensive empirical studies exist on the impact of financial inclusion on socio-economic outcomes such as economic growth, inequality, and poverty. However, research on financial inclusion and population health is limited and still at the infant stage. Therefore, this article adds to knowledge by inquiring into the health implications of financial inclusion using a global panel dataset for 121 countries between 2004 and 2020. After accounting for endogeneity with heteroskedasticity-based instrumental variable regression and cross-sectional dependency with the Driscol–Kraay estimator, we documented that financial inclusion improves population health outcomes. We found that the effect of financial inclusion on population health outcomes also depends on the level of information and communication technology penetration and existing socio-economic conditions in a country. Following this, we showed that financial inclusion improves population health outcomes in countries with lower income inequality and higher GDP per capita, mobile and internet penetration. We further found heterogeneity in the results across geographical regions and income groups. Following these findings, we suggest that financial inclusion policies could enhance population health.