Demonetisation and the subsequent push for the cashless economy have triggered a debate that was long overdue in the country. Leaving aside the political colours of the arguments, even those by some renowned economists, what is heartening is the fact that India is debating the impact of demonetisation and mobile-based transactions on the poor.
Almost 200,000 Kenyan households, many headed by poor, rural women, have lifted themselves out of poverty using mobile money services, experts said on Thursday, calling for the technology to be introduced in other developing countries.
The impact was most dramatic among single mothers who used M-Pesa, a text message-based mobile payment system, after switching from farming to business and retail sales, the journal Science found.
In a study published Friday in the journal Science, economists at MIT and Georgetown have found that a service allowing users to send and receive money on their mobile phones has significantly reduced poverty in Kenya.
Drive a few miles from the centre of Accra, the capital of Ghana, into the neat rows of houses that surround it and the paved roads disappear almost as quickly as the phone lines. Yet this has not dented the ambitions of Kwami Williams, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who is building a business processing moringa trees and exporting the resulting tea and cosmetic oils. Before mobile-phone usage exploded across Africa, starting a venture such as this on a shoestring would have been impossible—the costs of communicating with the thousands of smallholders who...
There are many ways that gender inequality holds us back. But overall, the math is simple: Half the world’s population is financially stunted. As long as we keep suppressing the economic potential of women, we will never achieve the growth and prosperity we want.
Mobile money, a service that allows monetary value to be stored on a mobile phone and sent to other users via text messages, has been adopted by the vast majority of Kenyan households. We estimate that access to the Kenyan mobile money system M-PESA increased per capita consumption levels and lifted 194,000 households, or 2% of Kenyan households, out of poverty. The impacts, which are more pronounced for female-headed households, appear to be driven by changes in financial behavior—in particular, increased financial resilience and saving—and labor market outcomes, such as occupational...
National Public Radio's All Things Considered reports on the new study in Science on the effects of mobile money access for poor women in Kenya. Read or listen to the full story featuring IPA affiliates Tavneet Suri and Isaac Mbiti below.
The new study found that poor rural women in Kenya with access to a mobile phone-based service allowing them to send and receive payments at low cost shifted their occupations from agriculture to business and saved more. The combined effects reduced poverty for hundreds of thousands of households.
December 9, 2016 NEW HAVEN, CT – A new study today shows that the expansion of mobile money helped bring hundreds of thousands of Kenyans out poverty, especially those in female-headed households. The study, published in Science, examined how M-PESA, Kenya’s text message-based...
Popular Science covers the study in Science on poverty and access to M-PESA mobile money in Kenya.
Reuters looks at the new findings in Science on mobile money and poverty in Kenya.
IPA Researcher and board member Tavneet Suri of MIT speaks with Vox about her new findings, published in Science. The research, conducted with with Billy Jack and IPA, looked at the how poverty was reduced in Kenya as M-PESA expanded and made mobile money more widely available in the country. Read more at the link below.
A new study today shows that the expansion of mobile money helped bring hundreds of thousands of Kenyans out poverty, especially those in female-headed households. The study, published in Science, examined how M-PESA, Kenya's text message-based payments system, spread across the country over six years. The researchers tracked the economic progress of thousands of households and estimate that the expansion of M-PESA lifted 194,000 households, or two percent of households in the country, above the poverty line, and that these effects were partly driven by women's access to the new way of...
NPR's Global Health team Goats and Soda asked readers to vote on what question they wanted answered most, and they chose "Can Microloans Lift Women out of Poverty?" They speak to IPA founder Dean Karlan and a number of IPA-affiliated researchers to answer the question, summarized in our brief Where Credit is Due.
Researchers who conducted randomized controlled studies in several countries began to question the effects of micro lending in raising the economic fortunes of the poor. While the loans increased business starts for those without business to begin with, for those already in business the impact has not been encouraging.
Bloomberg has an in-depth look at IPA's work using behavioral economics to encourage Americans in the cash economy to start saving. It's a frank look at the promise and difficulties of new field research.