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The impact of mobile phone penetration on African inequality

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  • Simplice Asongu

Abstract

Purpose - – The purpose of this paper is to complement theoretical and qualitative literature with empirical evidence on the income-redistributive effect of mobile phone penetration in 52 African countries. Design/methodology/approach - – Robust ordinary least squares and two stage least squares empirical strategies are employed. Findings - – The findings suggest that mobile penetration is pro-poor, as it has a positive income equality effect. Social implications - – “Mobile phone”-oriented poverty reduction channels are discussed. Originality/value - – It deviates from mainstream country-specific and microeconomic survey-based approaches in the literature and provides the first macroeconomic assessment of the “mobile phone”-inequality nexus.

Suggested Citation

  • Simplice Asongu, 2015. "The impact of mobile phone penetration on African inequality," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(8), pages 706-716, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:42:y:2015:i:8:p:706-716
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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.
    2. Mas, Ignacio & Radcliffe, Daniel, 2011. "Mobile Payments Go Viral: M-PESA in Kenya," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 32, pages 169-182.
    3. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
    4. Simplice A. Asongu, 2014. "Knowledge Economy and Financial Sector Competition in African Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 26(2), pages 333-346, June.
    5. Simplice A. Asongu, 2013. "Investment And Inequality In Africa: Which Financial Channels Are Good For The Poor?," The African Finance Journal, Africagrowth Institute, vol. 15(2), pages 43-65.
    6. Simplice A. Asongu, 2013. "How has Mobile Phone Penetration Stimulated Financial Development in Africa?," Journal of African Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 7-18, April.
    7. Hisako Kai & Shigeyuki Hamori, 2009. "Globalization, financial depth, and inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 2025-2037.
    8. Simplice Asongu, 2015. "Financial Sector Competition and Knowledge Economy: Evidence from SSA and MENA Countries," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(4), pages 717-748, December.
    9. Demombynes, Gabriel & Thegeya, Aaron, 2012. "Kenya's mobile revolution and the promise of mobile savings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5988, The World Bank.
    10. Simplice A Asongu, 2013. "How do financial reforms affect inequality through financial sector competition? Evidence from Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 401-414.
    11. Antonio Rodriguez Andres, 2006. "Software piracy and income inequality," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 101-105.
    12. Dare Akerele & Siaka Momoh & Samuel A. Adewuyi & Biola B. Phillip & Olumuyiwa F. Ashaolu, 2012. "Socioeconomic determinants of poverty among urban households in South-West Nigeria," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(3), pages 168-181, February.
    13. Simplice Asongu, 2014. "Software piracy, inequality and the poor: evidence from Africa," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(4), pages 526-553, July.
    14. By Ales BulÌr, 2001. "Income Inequality: Does Inflation Matter?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(1), pages 1-5.
    15. Muhammad Shahbaz, 2010. "Income inequality-economic growth and non-linearity: a case of Pakistan," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(8), pages 613-636, July.
    16. Enowbi Batuo, Michael & Guidi, Francesco & Mlambo, Kupukile, 2010. "Financial Development and Income Inequality: Evidence from African Countries," MPRA Paper 25658, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Jenny C. Aker & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 207-232, Summer.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Inequality; Poverty; Mobile phones; Shadow economy; E00; G20; I30; L96; O33;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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