Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa
AbstractWe examine the growth of mobile phone technology over the past decade and consider its potential impacts upon quality of life in low-income countries, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. We first provide an overview of the patterns and determinants of mobile phone coverage in sub-Saharan Africa before describing the characteristics of primary and secondary mobile phone adopters on the continent. We then discuss the channels through which mobile phone technology can impact development outcomes, both as a positive externality of the communication sector and as part of mobile phone-based development projects, and analyze existing evidence. While current research suggests that mobile phone coverage and adoption have had positive impacts on agricultural and labor market efficiency and welfare in certain countries, empirical evidence is still somewhat limited. In addition, mobile phone technology cannot serve as the “silver bullet” for development in sub-Saharan Africa. Careful impact evaluations of mobile phone development projects are required to better understand their impacts upon economic and social outcomes, and mobile phone technology must work in partnership with other public good provision and investment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 211.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.cgdev.org
growth; economic development; poverty; income distribution; mobile phones; technology; sub-Saharan Africa;
Other versions of this item:
- H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
- L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-08-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2010-08-28 (Development)
- NEP-ICT-2010-08-28 (Information & Communication Technologies)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Buys, Piet & Dasgupta, Susmita & Thomas, Tim & Wheeler, David, 2008.
"Determinants of a digital divide in Sub-Saharan Africa : a spatial econometric analysis of cell phone coverage,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4516, The World Bank.
- Buys, Piet & Dasgupta, Susmita & Thomas, Timothy S. & Wheeler, David, 2009. "Determinants of a Digital Divide in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Spatial Econometric Analysis of Cell Phone Coverage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1494-1505, September.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002.
"Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
- Brown, Jeffrey, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Working Paper Series rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1978.
"A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion,"
335, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2005.
"Learning about a new technology: pineapple in Ghana,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
- Conley, T.G. & Udry, C.R., 2000. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," Papers 817, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Benjamin A. Olken, 2006.
"Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages,"
- Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 1-33, October.
- Benjamin A. Olken, 2006. "Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages," NBER Working Papers 12561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2003.
"Do rural banks matter? evidence from the Indian social banking experiment,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
2244, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2005. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 780-795, June.
- Burgess, Robin & Pande, Rohini, 2004. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4211, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2003. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, 2004. "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/104, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
- World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367, July.
- Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094, August.
- Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, .
"Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture,"
_068, University of Pennsylvania.
- Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
- Jenny C. Aker, 2010. "Information from Markets Near and Far: Mobile Phones and Agricultural Markets in Niger," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 46-59, July.
- Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Determinants of Technology Adoption: Private Value and Peer Effects in Menstrual Cup Take-Up," NBER Working Papers 14828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Roodman) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask David Roodman to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.