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The Mobile Phone Revolution: Have Mobile Phones and the Internet Reduced Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa?

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  • Kanyam, Daniel A.
  • Kostandini, Genti
  • Ferreira, Susana

Abstract

There is a growing consensus that information and communication technology (ICT) systems (here mobile phones and the internet) offer remarkable opportunities for promoting good governance, increasing transparency, and reducing corruption. Thus, many development practitioners, policy makers, and various international organizations who are committed to promoting transparency and good governance have embraced the view that mobile phones can be used as a social accountability tool in the fight against corruption. This study empirically investigates the impact of mobile phone penetration, internet adoption, and the interaction effect between the two on corruption, by focusing specifically on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The results reveal that cell phones are powerful tools for reducing corruption. Results of panel Granger causality tests show that there is unidirectional causality from mobile phone penetration to corruption, and from internet adoption to corruption. To deal with the problem of endogeneity, a dynamic panel data (DPD) model is employed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kanyam, Daniel A. & Kostandini, Genti & Ferreira, Susana, 2017. "The Mobile Phone Revolution: Have Mobile Phones and the Internet Reduced Corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 271-284.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:271-284
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.05.022
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    1. Lavinia DudaÈ™ & Lavinia MihiÈ›, 2019. "What Shapes Elections and Corruption in Emerging and Developing Countries ?," Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Ovidius University of Constantza, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 0(1), pages 195-201, August.
    2. Grossman, Guy & Platas, Melina R. & Rodden, Jonathan, 2018. "Crowdsourcing accountability: ICT for service delivery," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 74-87.
    3. Melia, Elvis, 2019. "The impact of information and communication technologies on jobs in Africa: a literature review," Discussion Papers 3/2019, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    4. Jiaping Zhang & Mingwang Cheng & Xinyu Wei & Xiaomei Gong, 2018. "Does Mobile Phone Penetration Affect Divorce Rate? Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(10), pages 1-19, October.

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