Nav: Home

Mobile money improves economic well-being in Kenya

December 08, 2016

Access to digital financial services lifted 194,000 Kenyan households out of poverty, a new study estimates, and increased consumption levels, especially among female-headed households. The results suggest that the ability to safely store, send, and transact money - taken for granted in most advanced economies - can directly boost economic well-being. In developing countries, bank branches and fixed-line telecommunications are scarce, whereas mobile phones are plentiful. These factors have led to an increasing use of mobile money in recent years, whereby money can be used to purchase minutes, which can then be converted back into money. Previous work has shown that increased access to mobile money has allowed individuals to benefit in the short-term, protecting themselves against income and health risks because they could draw on a wider network of social support. However, whether mobile money could also help raise the level of consumption and lift people out of poverty has been unclear. Here, to better assess the long-run impacts that such services have had on the economic lives of Kenyans, Tavneet Suri and William Jack conducted five rounds of a household panel survey between 2008 and 2014, ultimately collecting data on 1,608 households that use the Kenyan mobile money platform M-PESA. Increased access to mobile money lifted some 194,000 households, or 2% of Kenyan households, out of extreme poverty, the researchers estimate. In many cases, it also increased long-term consumption, with the effects for female-headed households being more than twice the average. These impacts appear to be driven by changes in saving and other financial behaviors, and also by changes in occupational choice, especially for women, some 85,000 of whom moved out of agriculture and into business, the researchers estimate.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Poverty Articles:

If you're poor, poverty is an environmental issue
A survey from Cornell researchers -- conducted among more than 1,100 US residents -- found that there were, in fact, demographic differences in how people viewed environmental issues, with racial and ethnic minorities and lower-income people more likely to consider human factors such as racism and poverty as environmental, in addition to more ecological issues like toxic fumes from factories or car exhaust.
Poverty associated with suicide risk in children and adolescents
Between 2007 to 2016, nearly 21,000 children ages 5-19 years old died by suicide.
New index maps relationships between poverty and accessibility in Brazil
Poor transportation availability can result in poor access to health care and employment, hence reinforcing the cycle of poverty and concerning health outcomes such as low life expectancy and high child mortality in rural Brazil.
Repeated periods of poverty accelerate the ageing process
People who have found themselves below the relative poverty threshold four or more times in their adult life age significantly earlier than others.
Poverty as disease trap
The realities of subsistence living in a region of Senegal hard hit by schistosomiasis make reinfection likely, despite mass drug administration.
Persistent poverty affects one in five UK children
Persistent poverty affects one in five children in the UK, and is associated with poor physical and mental health in early adolescence, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Poverty leaves a mark on our genes
In this study, researchers found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome.
Satellite images reveal global poverty
How far have we come in achieving the UN's sustainable development goals that we are committed to nationally and internationally?
Lack of paid sick leave increases poverty
A new study has quantified, for the first time, the relationship between lack of paid sick leave and poverty in the US.
New mapping technique can help fight extreme poverty
A new mapping technique, described in the Nov. 14 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, shows how researchers are developing computational tools that combine cellphone records with data from satellites and geographic information systems to create timely and incredibly detailed poverty maps.
More Poverty News and Poverty Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Graham
If former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's case for the death of George Floyd goes to trial, there will be this one, controversial legal principle looming over the proceedings: The reasonable officer. In this episode, we explore the origin of the reasonable officer standard, with the case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty with help from Kelly Prime and Annie McEwen. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.