Banking ‘deserts’ do not explain financial exclusion – NY Fed economists

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Banking deserts: they do not necessarily have higher rates of unbanked people

The absence of nearby banks is not sufficient to explain why the proportion of “unbanked” people in the US is higher in some regions than in others, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Donald Morgan, Maxim Pinkovskiy and Davy Perlman study US “banking deserts”, defined as neighbourhoods without bank branches or any within 10 miles of their centre. Mapping these areas shows their highest prevalence to be in actual deserts, such as parts of Nevada and Arizona, which

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