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The impact of mobile phone penetration on African inequality

  • Asongu Simplice



Purpose – The aim 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.

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Paper provided by African Governance and Development Institute. in its series Working Papers with number 13/021.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 14 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in the International Journal of Social Economics
Handle: RePEc:agd:wpaper:13/021
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  1. Edward O'Boyle & Meade O'Boyle, 2012. "Global poverty, hunger, death, and disease," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(1), pages 4-17, January.
  2. Simplice Anutechia Asongu, 2014. "Knowledge Economy and Financial Sector Competition in African Countries," AAYE Policy Research Working Paper Series 14_018, Association of African Young Economists, revised Oct 2014.
  3. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
  4. Asongu Simplice, 2012. "Financial sector competition and knowledge economy: evidence from SSA and MENA countries," Working Papers 12/021, African Governance and Development Institute..
  5. 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.
  6. Asongu Simplice, 2012. "Software piracy, inequality and the poor: evidence from Africa," Working Papers 12/035, African Governance and Development Institute..
  7. 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, March.
  8. Asongu Simplice, 2011. "Investment and Inequality in Africa: which financial channels are good for the poor?," Working Papers 11/015, African Governance and Development Institute..
  9. Simplice A, Asongu, 2012. "How has Mobile Phone Penetration Stimulated Financial Development in Africa?," MPRA Paper 41198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Ales Bulir, 1998. "Income Inequality; Does Inflation Matter?," IMF Working Papers 98/7, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Demombynes, Gabriel & Thegeya, Aaron, 2012. "Kenya's mobile revolution and the promise of mobile savings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5988, The World Bank.
  12. Mas, Ignacio & Radcliffe, Daniel, 2011. "Mobile Payments Go Viral: M-PESA in Kenya," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 32, pages 169-182.
  13. Asongu Simplice, 2013. "How do financial reforms affect inequality through financial sector competition? Evidence from Africa," Working Papers 13/011, African Governance and Development Institute..
  14. Antonio Rodriguez Andres, 2006. "Software piracy and income inequality," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 101-105.
  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. Hisako Kai & Shigeyuki Hamori, 2009. "Globalization, financial depth, and inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 2025-2037.
  17. 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.
  18. Jenny Aker and Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Working Papers 211, Center for Global Development.
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