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The Home Economics of E-Money: Velocity, Cash Management, and Discount Rates of M-Pesa Users

Author

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  • Isaac Mbiti
  • David N. Weil

Abstract

We study the mobile phone-based money transfer system in Kenya. Based on aggregate data, we estimate that the velocity with which units of e-money are transferred among users is approximately four times per month, and that the average number of transfers undergone by a unit of e-money between its creation and destruction is approximately one. Most M-Pesa transactions are made by frequent users. Examination of data on withdrawals shows a high frequency of small withdrawals and no response to "notches" in the price schedule, indicating that many users seem to have high implicit discount rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaac Mbiti & David N. Weil, 2013. "The Home Economics of E-Money: Velocity, Cash Management, and Discount Rates of M-Pesa Users," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 369-374, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:369-74
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.369
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isaac Mbiti & David N. Weil, 2015. "Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 247-293 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudio Vitari, 2014. "Electronic currencies for purposive degrowth?," Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management hal-00975432, HAL.
    2. Claudio Vitari, 2014. "Electronic currencies for purposive degrowth?," Working Papers hal-00975432, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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