How has Mobile Phone Penetration Stimulated Financial Development in Africa?
In the first macroeconomic empirical assessment of the relationship between mobile phones and finance, the author examines the correlations between mobile phone penetration and financial development using two conflicting definitions of the financial system in the financial development literature. With the traditional International Financial Statistics (IFS) (2008) definition, mobile phone penetration has a negative correlation with traditional financial intermediary dynamics of depth, activity, and size. However, when a previously missing informal-financial sector component is integrated into the definition, mobile phone penetration has a positive correlation with informal financial development. Three implications result: There is a growing role of informal finance; mobile phone penetration may not be positively assessed at a macroeconomic level by traditional financial development indicators; and it is a wake-up call for scholarly research on informal financial development indicators that will orient monetary policy.
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Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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