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Mobile Money and Household Consumption Patterns in Uganda

Author

Listed:
  • J Paul Dunne

    (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Elizabeth Kasekende

    (Bank of Uganda)

Abstract

Financial services in low income countries are often not well developed, thus, individuals rely heavily on informal means of financial services to send, receive and save money, with a large number of the population unbanked. Mobile money, a type of financial innovation, enables individuals to transfer, deposit and save money using cell phone technology. It not only has the potential to improve access to financial services but could also have an effect on household consumer behaviour and improve individuals' livelihoods. This paper investigates the difference in consumption patterns between mobile money users and non-users in Uganda, one of the countries that have seen significant increases in mobile money usage, since its introduction in 2009. It is based on the Financial Inclusion Tracker Surveys (FITS) household level data that was conducted in 2012. Using ordinary least squares and seemingly unrelated regression estimation techniques, the results suggests that mobile money users are less likely to spend on food, a necessity, and more likely to spend on luxury goods, than non-users. In addition, mobile money users are more likely to receive more remittances and, as a result, they are able to spend more efficiently on particular commodities than non-users. This suggests that mobile money could indeed potentially improve individuals' livelihoods.

Suggested Citation

  • J Paul Dunne & Elizabeth Kasekende, 2017. "Mobile Money and Household Consumption Patterns in Uganda," SALDRU Working Papers 210, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:210
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    File URL: http://www.opensaldru.uct.ac.za/handle/11090/886
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobile money; Consumption patterns;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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