Ownership of a Bank Account and Health of Older Hispanics

Published in: Economics Letters, v. 144, July 2016, p. 41-44

Posted on RAND.org on July 12, 2016

by Emma Aguila, Marco Angrisani, Luisa Blanco

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We study health effects of financial inclusion, particularly ownership of a bank account of older minorities, with focus on Hispanics. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study from 2000 to 2012, we find that, for Hispanics, being banked has a positive effect on mental health but is not associated with effects on physical health. Mental health benefits are likely to be larger for those who face greater hurdles to access formal financial institutions. Hispanics in less well-off neighborhoods and with below-median wealth appear to experience the greatest mental-health benefits associated with ownership of a bank account.

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