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The power of information : the impact of mobile phones on farmers'welfare in the Philippines

Author

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  • Labonne, Julien
  • Chase, Robert S.

Abstract

The authors explore the impact of access to information on poor farmers’ consumption. The analysis combines spatially coded data on mobile phone coverage with household panel data on farmers from some of the poorest areas of the Philippines. Both the ordinary least squares and instrumental variable estimates indicate that purchasing a mobile phone has a large, positive impact on the household-level growth rate of per capita consumption. Estimates range from 11 to 17 percent, depending on the sample and the specification chosen. The authors perform a range of reliability tests, the results of which all suggest that the instruments are valid. They also present evidence consistent with the argument that easier access to information allows farmers to strike better price deals within their existing trading relationships and to make better choices in terms of where they choose to sell their goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Labonne, Julien & Chase, Robert S., 2009. "The power of information : the impact of mobile phones on farmers'welfare in the Philippines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4996, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4996
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lars-Hendrik Roller & Leonard Waverman, 2001. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 909-923, September.
    2. Klonner, Stefan & Nolen, Patrick J., 2010. "Cell Phones and Rural Labor Markets: Evidence from South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 56, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    3. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Vargas Hill, 2005. "Selling at the Farmgate or Traveling to Market," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 717-734.
    4. Moti Jaleta & Cornelis Gardebroek, 2007. "Farm-gate tomato price negotiations under asymmetric information," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 245-251, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Baburin, Vyacheslav & Zemtsov, Stepan, 2014. "Diffussion of ICT-products and "five Russias"," MPRA Paper 68926, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 May 2014.
    2. Graham, Carol & Nikolova, Milena, 2013. "Does access to information technology make people happier? Insights from well-being surveys from around the world," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 126-139.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    E-Business; Access to Finance; Rural Poverty Reduction; Debt Markets; Poverty Lines;

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