Comparative Human Development Thresholds for Absolute and Relative Pro-poor Mobile Banking in Developing Countries

Simplice Asongu, Jacinta Nwachukwu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: We assess the correlations between mobile banking and inclusive development (poverty and inequality) in 93 developing countries for the year 2011.

Design/methodology/approach
Mobile banking entails: ‘mobile phones used to pay bills’ and ‘mobile phones used to receive/send money’, while the modifying policy indicator is the human development index (HDI). The data is decomposed into seven sub-panels based on two fundamental characteristics: (i) regions (Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and North Africa) and (ii) income levels (upper middle income, lower middle income and low income).

Findings
Our results show that at certain thresholds of the HDI, mobile banking is positively linked to inclusive development. The following specific findings are established. First, the increased use of mobile phones to pay bills is negatively correlated with: (i) poverty in lower-middle-income countries (LMIC), upper-middle-income countries (UMIC) and Latin American countries (LA) respectively at HDI thresholds of 0.725, 0.727 and 0.778 and (ii) inequality in UMIC and LA with HDI thresholds of respectively 0.646 and 0.761. Second, the increased use of mobile phones to send/receive money is negatively correlated with: (i) poverty in LMIC, UMIC and Central and Eastern European countries (CEE) with corresponding HDI thresholds of 0.631, 0.750 and 0.750 and (ii) inequality in UMIC, CEE and LA at HDI thresholds of 0.665, 0.736 and 0.726 respectively.

Practical implications
The findings are discussed in the light of current policy challenges in the transition from the UN’s Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals.

Originality/value
We have exploited the only macroeconomic data on mobile banking currently available
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalInformation Technology & People
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Mobile banking
  • inequality
  • poverty
  • quality of growth

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