Financial Inclusion in China: Use of Credit
Limited access to credit can cause financial vulnerability for a household and economic loss for a country. Previous studies have shown that only small portions of the population in developing countries had access to formal credit, and few of them focused on Chinese populations. Using data from 2011 China Household Financial Studies, this study explores Chinese households’ credit use. We found that over half of the sample (53.21%) used credit, and only 19.77% used formal credit. Use of formal credit was associated with socioeconomic characteristics of household heads (e.g., employment, education) and households (e.g., income, net worth). The findings suggest that promoting financial inclusion in China involves expanding access to formal credit among the socially and economically disadvantaged households.
KeywordsAccess to credit Formal credit Financial inclusion Chinese households
The authors would like to acknowledge Chris Leiker, editor at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St Louis, for his skillful editing and incisive comments on earlier draft of this article. The authors wish to thank the editor and reviewers for the very helpful feedback they provided on earlier drafts, and the Research Center of China Household Finance Survey at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics for providing high-quality data.
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