Increasing Agricultural Income and Access to Financial Services through Mobile Technology in Africa: Evidence from Malawi
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In most of the developing world, mobile technology facilitates access to financial services. This chapter provides new evidence on the effect of mobile phone ownership on loan acquisition and agricultural incomes. Data from Malawi’s Integrated Household Survey (IHS) and the logit model are used for the empirical analysis. The results reveal that the higher the number of mobile phones per household, the more likely they are to have a loan, notably in urban areas where mobile technology is more available. Those without a mobile phone are nearly three times more likely to have an informal loan than a formal one. A higher chance of having a non-zero amount of agricultural income is found among households with at least one phone and those with a loan. Finally, female-headed households have a higher likelihood of having no agricultural income and no mobile phone. The results imply that financial inclusion through the improvements in technology can lead households from informal into the formal financial sector, but rural and female-headed households require more attention in terms of outreach policies.
KeywordsFinancial inclusion Informal credit Agricultural incomes Rural households Digital finance Malawi Africa Mobile phone technology Logit regression Household survey
The author acknowledges the assistance of Dumisani Moyo on some of the initial data processing.
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