Independent Research and Policy Advocacy

Measurement of financial well-being, a review of the literature

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Financial well-being measures the ability of a household or individual to function on a daily basis, the resilience to withstand negative shocks to earnings and / or expenditure in the short-term and the ability to meet desired long-term economic goals. It is increasingly becoming seen as the policy objective of financial inclusion in contrast with earlier objectives of the mere access that a household has to the formal financial system. However, measuring financial well-being is a challenge. So far, approaches to measuring financial well-being are based on household surveys where the measures are a combination of facts and perception. If better financial well-being is to become the expected outcome of greater inclusion into the financial system, then both of these should be regularly measured systematically, and made available for commercial and research purposes.

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