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Got Technology? The Impact of Computers and Cell Phones on Productivity in a Difficult Business Climate: Evidence from Firms with Female Owners in Kenya

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  • Menon, Nidhiya

    () (Brandeis University)

Abstract

Firms in Kenya rely on technologies such as computers, cell-phones, and generators to overcome constraints associated with regulations, infrastructure, security, workforce, corruption, and finance. This study shows that such reliance has significant positive impacts on productivity as measured by value-added per worker, especially for firms with female principal owners. The exogenous component of technology ownership is isolated by using information on the regional presence of missionary schools from Kenya's colonial past, as well as geographical indicators such as rainfall, changes in forest cover, and average regional elevation. Results indicate that for firms with female owners, technology adoption improves value-added per worker by about 49 percentage points. It is also statistically evident that for such firms, the ownership of technologies such as computers, cell-phones, and generators succeeds in mitigating the costs of business obstacles. For male-owned firms, such patterns are absent.

Suggested Citation

  • Menon, Nidhiya, 2011. "Got Technology? The Impact of Computers and Cell Phones on Productivity in a Difficult Business Climate: Evidence from Firms with Female Owners in Kenya," IZA Discussion Papers 5419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nidhiya Menon, 2010. "Obstacles to Business, Technology Use, and Firms with Female Principal Owners in Kenya," Working Papers 20, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joël CARIOLLE & Maëlan LE GOFF & Olivier SANTONI, 2017. "Fast Internet, digital vulnerabilities and firm performances in developing and transition countries," Working Papers P195, FERDI.
    2. Joël CARIOLLE & Maëlan LE GOFF & Olivier SANTONI, 2017. "Fast Internet, digital vulnerabilities and firm performances in developing and transition countries," Working Papers P195, FERDI.
    3. Joël Cariolle & Maëlan Le Goff & Olivier Santoni, 2017. "Fast Internet, digital vulnerabilities and firm performances in developing and transition countries," Post-Print hal-01569846, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technology; computers; cell-phones; business obstacles; Kenya; firms; female owners;

    JEL classification:

    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania

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