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The Role of Mobile Phones in Governance-Driven Technology Exports in Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract

This study assesses how the mobile phone influences governance to improve information and communication technology (ICT) exports in sub-Saharan Africa with data from 2000 to 2012. The empirical evidence is based on the generalised method of moments and three main governance concepts are used, namely (i) institutional (comprising the rule of law and corruption control), (ii) political (involving political stability/no violence and voice and accountability) and (iii) economic (including regulation quality and government effectiveness) governance. The following findings are established. First, there are positive net effects on ICT goods exports from independent interactions between mobile phones and ‘political stability’, ‘voice and accountability’ and corruption control. Second, significant net effects are not apparent from independent interactions between mobile phones and government effectiveness, regulation quality and the rule of law. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Fosu (2013), defines ‘policy syndromes’ as situations that are detrimental to growth: ‘administered redistribution’, ‘state breakdown’, ‘state controls’ and ‘suboptimal inter temporal resource allocation’. Situations in which such syndromes are not apparent are qualified as ‘syndrome-free’. The policy syndromes are thought to have substantially contributed to Africa’s poor post-independence growth.

  2. 2.

    It is relevant to balance the narrative with a contending strand of the literature which argues that ICT can also facilitate collective violent action (see Manacorda and Tesei 2016; Weidmann and Shapiro 2015; Pierskalla and Hollenbach 2013; Breuer et al. 2012).

  3. 3.

    Data points for the year 2015 are only available in the 2017 release of the World Development Indicators of the World Bank. This is essentially because there is always a 2-year lag between the most updated year in the data and the publication year of the data. At the time of the study, the most updated year was 2012.

  4. 4.

    Hence, the procedure for treating ivstyle (years) is ‘iv (years, eq(diff))’ whereas the gmmstyle is employed for predetermined variables.

  5. 5.

    “First, the null hypothesis of the second-order Arellano and Bond autocorrelation test (AR (2)) in difference for the absence of autocorrelation in the residuals should not be rejected. Second, the Sargan and Hansen overidentification restrictions (OIR) tests should not be significant because their null hypotheses are the positions that instruments are valid or not correlated with the error terms. In essence, while the Sargan OIR test is not robust but not weakened by instruments, the Hansen OIR is robust but weakened by instruments. In order to restrict identification or limit the proliferation of instruments, we have ensured that instruments are lower than the number of cross-sections in most specifications. Third, the Difference in Hansen Test (DHT) for exogeneity of instruments is also employed to assess the validity of results from the Hansen OIR test. Fourth, a Fischer test for the joint validity of estimated coefficients is also provided” ( Asongu and De Moor 2017, p.200).

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Appendices

Appendices

Table 3 Summary statistics (2000–2012)
Table 4 Correlation matrix (uniform sample size 87)
Table 5 Definitions of variables

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Asongu, S.A., Asongu, N. The Role of Mobile Phones in Governance-Driven Technology Exports in Sub-Saharan Africa. J Knowl Econ 10, 849–867 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-017-0500-2

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Keywords

  • Knowledge economy
  • Development
  • Africa

JEL Classification

  • L59
  • L98
  • O10
  • O30
  • O55