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ICT, Financial Inclusion, and Growth Evidence from African Countries

  • Kangni Kpodar
  • Mihasonirina Andrianaivo

This paper studies the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially mobile phone rollout, on economic growth in a sample of African countries from 1988 to 2007. Further, we investigate whether financial inclusion is one of the channels through which mobile phone development influences economic growth. In estimating the impact of ICT on economic growth, we use a wide range of ICT indicators, including mobile and fixed telephone penetration rates and the cost of local calls. We address any endogeneity issues by using the System Generalized Method of Moment (GMM) estimator. Financial inclusion is captured by variables measuring access to financial services, such as the number of deposits or loans per head, compiled by Beck, Demirguc-Kunt, and Martinez Peria (2007) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP, 2009). The results confirm that ICT, including mobile phone development, contribute significantly to economic growth in African countries. Part of the positive effect of mobile phone penetration on growth comes from greater financial inclusion. At the same time, the development of mobile phones consolidates the impact of financial inclusion on economic growth, especially in countries where mobile financial services take hold.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/73.

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Length: 45
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/73
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  1. Rand, John & Tarp, Finn, 2002. "Business Cycles in Developing Countries: Are They Different?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2071-2088, December.
  2. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Leonard Waverman, 1996. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," CIG Working Papers FS IV 96-16, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  3. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Sridhar, Kala Seetharam & Sridhar, Varadharajan, 2004. "Telecommunications infrastructure and economic growth: Evidence from developing countries," Working Papers 04/14, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
  5. Beck, Thorsten & Cull, Robert & Fuchs, Michael & Getenga, Jared & Gatere, Peter & Randa, John & Trandafir, Mircea, 2010. "Banking sector stability, efficiency, and outreach in Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5442, The World Bank.
  6. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
  7. Markus Haacker, 2010. "ICT Equipment Investment and Growth in Low- and Lower-Middle-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 10/66, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Shyamal K. Chowdhury, 2006. "Investments in ICT-capital and economic performance of small and medium scale enterprises in East Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 533-552.
  9. Sridhar, Kala Seetharan & Sridhar, Varadharajan, 2007. "Telecommunications Infrastructure And Economic Growth: Evidence From Developing Countries," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 7(2), pages 37-56.
  10. Kendall, Jake & Mylenko, Nataliya & Ponce, Alejandro, 2010. "Measuring financial access around the world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5253, The World Bank.
  11. Anusua Datta & Sumit Agarwal, 2004. "Telecommunications and economic growth: a panel data approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(15), pages 1649-1654.
  12. Norton, Seth W, 1992. "Transaction Costs, Telecommunications, and the Microeconomics of Macroeconomic Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 175-96, October.
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