Mobile money and economic development

Summary

This project provides an empirical analysis of the local economic impact of mobile money in Africa.

Key researchers

Project background and aims

This project provides an empirical analysis of the local economic impact of mobile money (MM) in Africa.

We combine night-time light data at the 1 x 1 km grid cell level with spatial boundaries of mobile phone coverage for seven African nations that have implemented a MM system.

The discontinuity at the mobile phone coverage boundary acts as a spatial discontinuity that allows us to assign grids for control and treatment groups. Our final dataset is a balanced panel of around 1.9 million grid cells for the period 2000–2012. We estimate the causal impact of the introduction of MM on economic development at the fine spatial level.

We find that the introduction of MM increases the local night-time light intensity by around 3.83 percent.