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The power of information : the impact of mobile phones on farmers'welfare in the Philippines

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  • Labonne, Julien
  • Chase, Robert S.
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    Abstract

    The authors explore the impact of access to information on poor farmers’ consumption. The analysis combines spatially coded data on mobile phone coverage with household panel data on farmers from some of the poorest areas of the Philippines. Both the ordinary least squares and instrumental variable estimates indicate that purchasing a mobile phone has a large, positive impact on the household-level growth rate of per capita consumption. Estimates range from 11 to 17 percent, depending on the sample and the specification chosen. The authors perform a range of reliability tests, the results of which all suggest that the instruments are valid. They also present evidence consistent with the argument that easier access to information allows farmers to strike better price deals within their existing trading relationships and to make better choices in terms of where they choose to sell their goods.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4996.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4996

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    Related research

    Keywords: E-Business; Access to Finance; Rural Poverty Reduction; Debt Markets; Poverty Lines;

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    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Vargas Hill, 2004. "Selling at the farm-gate or travelling to market," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-30, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    2. Röller, Lars-Hendrik & Waverman, Leonard, 2000. "Telecommunications Infrastructure And Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 2399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Moti Jaleta & Cornelis Gardebroek, 2007. "Farm-gate tomato price negotiations under asymmetric information," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 245-251, 03.
    4. Klonner, Stefan & Nolen, Patrick J., 2010. "Cell Phones and Rural Labor Markets: Evidence from South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 56, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Graham, Carol & Nikolova, Milena, 2013. "Does access to information technology make people happier? Insights from well-being surveys from around the world," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 126-139.

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