Financial inclusion of Muslims

Dear all,
Financial inclusion is high on the agenda for governments as well as for organizations such as the World Bank. Research has pointed out that Muslims worldwide are less included in the formal financial system than non-Muslims, but there is no knowledge about the extent to which religious norms (most importantly the ban on interest on money) lead to financial exclusion among Muslims in the West. In this article I approach the issue of financial exclusion and inclusion through three interrelated questions that will be answered with data collected in Norway 2015 and 2016. The questions are: (a) To what extent do Muslims see conventional banking as a problem in their own lives? (b) Do level of education, age, national background or level of religiosity predict demand for Islamic banking? (c) Is demand for Islamic banking changing? This article is a first step in what should be a broader research program to find out whether and how religious norms cause financial exclusion of Muslims in the West. The article is freely available here:
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The article is a first step in a larger research effort based at he Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). See:
Money and finance have been regarded as major moral problems in all the world religions. The past few decades have seen a revival in Islamic thinking about bank
Torkel Brekke
Research Professor, PRIO