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Information Technology and Farm Households in Niger

  • Jenny Aker

    (The Fletcher School of International Affairs, Tufts University)

  • Christopher Ksoll

    (Centre for the Study of African Economies, Economics Department, Oxford)

This technical report seeks to understand the impact of improved access to information technology on farmers’ agricultural production and marketing practices in sub-Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on Niger. Related research suggests in that access to mobile telephony can reduce communication and search costs, thereby increasing rural households’ access to price and labor market information. Reducing information asymmetries should, in theory, allow households to better respond to shocks. We find that increased access to a mobile phone via an adult education program increases the diversity of crops planted, particularly marginal cash crops grown by women. This also increases the likelihood that these cash crops are grown, but does not increase the farm-gate price received.

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File URL: http://web.undp.org/africa/knowledge/WP-2012-005-Aker-Ksoll-Information-Niger.pdf
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Paper provided by United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP/RBA) in its series Working Papers with number 2012-005.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rac:wpaper:2012-005
Contact details of provider: Postal: One United Nations Plaza, New York, New York 10017
Web page: http://web.undp.org/africa/

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  1. Jenny C. Aker & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 207-32, Summer.
  2. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  3. King, Mervyn A. & Leape, Jonathan I., 1998. "Wealth and portfolio composition: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 155-193, June.
  4. Jacob, Nancy L, 1974. "A Limited-Diversification Portfolio Selection Model for the Small Investor," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(3), pages 847-56, June.
  5. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Hill, 2005. "Price Transmission and Trader Entry in Domestic Commodity Markets," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-038, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Brown, Jeffrey, 2000. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Working Paper Series rwp00-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1978. "A Simple Model of Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Discussion Papers 335, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Robert Jensen, 2007. "The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 879-924, 08.
  9. Leape, Jonathan I., 1987. "Taxes and transaction costs in asset market equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-20, June.
  10. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing with Sequential Consumer Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 700-712, September.
  11. Jenny C. Aker, 2010. "Information from Markets Near and Far: Mobile Phones and Agricultural Markets in Niger," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 46-59, July.
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