ZEF Public Lecture: Bank Presence and Health

April 6, 2023 | 13:30 h - 14:30 h

We'd like to invite you to ZEF's Public Lecture!

Title: Bank Presence and Health

Speaker: Prof. Kim Fe Cramer (Assistant Professor at the London School of Economics Finance Department)

Venue: ZEF Conference Room (Genscherallee 3, 53113 Bonn, ground floor)

The lecture will be held in hybrid mode, so you are also welcome to join us online via Zoom: https://uni-bonn.zoom.us/j/61703337908?pwd=WDZQUjJoQWpIK05XR1gyNkJEMjhydz09

What role does bank presence play in improving health? To explore this question, I use a policy of the Reserve Bank of India from 2005 that incentivizes banks to set up new branches in underbanked districts, defined as having a population-to-branch ratio larger than the national average. In a regression discontinuity design, I compare households in districts just above and just below the national average. Six years after the policy introduction, households in treatment districts are a third less likely to be affected by an illness in a month. They miss fewer days of work or school due to an illness and have lower medical expenses. Ten years after the policy was introduced, I observe persistently lower morbidity rates, higher vaccination rates, and lower risks associated with pregnancies. I provide evidence that two previously understudied aspects of banking contribute to the effect: households gain access to health insurance and health care providers gain access to credit. In equilibrium, I observe an increase in health care demand and supply.

Kim Fe Cramer is an Assistant Professor at the LSE Finance Department. She received her PhD from Columbia Business School. Kim explores questions of household finance in developing countries. Her research focuses especially on households' challenges around health and climate.

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