Delivering inclusive financial development and growth

Project webpage
Research Council UK's project page

According to economist Joseph Stiglitz, the financial system acts as the 'brain' of an economy. However, it is not altogether clear how finance can deliver inclusive financial development and growth. The current consensus is that there is urgent need for research on the role of the finance in fostering inclusive financial development and sustainable economic growth.

Led by the University of Birmingham, a consortium of UK and international partners will collaborate on a four-year programme of research in response to this need. The central aim of the research is to identify workable policies to help make the financial sector an effective instrument in promoting financial inclusion and sustained growth in LICs, and consequently create an enabling environment for transitioning these countries to middle income status.

To achieve this goal, the project will be structured into four clusters:

  • Institutional framework for inclusive growth
  • Capital flows
  • Technological diffusion
  • A cluster which will run in parallel to the other three to synthesise findings in order to derive meaningful policy recommendations and drive tangible global impact.

Research methods will include: institutional analysis; field experiments; comparative analysis of the experience of countries with different policies and institutions; rapid appraisal and participatory appraisal methods; quantitative analysis of company and bank balance sheets, and quantitative and qualitative analysis of survey data.

The major part of the research programme will entail empirical research based on fieldwork in selected LICs in SSA (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia), with wider application to other LICs globally.

Principal Investigator: Victor Murinde, University of Birmingham


Niels Hermes, University of Groningen
Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, University of Gothenburg/India Development Foundation
Issouf Soumare, FSA Université Laval
Robert Lensink, University of Groningen
Stephany Griffith-Jones, Columbia University
Christine Oughton, SOAS
Mohammed Amidu, University of Ghana
Lemma Senbet, African Economic Research Consortium

Co-Investigators: 
Oliver Morrissey, University of Nottingham
Christopher Green, Loughborough University
Reinhard Bachmann, SOAS
Laurence Harris, SOAS
Judith Tyson, ODI
Ahmad Hassan Ahmad, Loughborough University
Tianshu Zhao, University of Stirling
Stephen Spratt, IDS
Joshua Yindenaba Abor, University of Ghana
Ye Bai, University of Nottingham