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Investigating the well‐being implications of mobile money access and usage from a multidimensional perspective

Carlos Sakyi‐Nyarko, Ahmad Hassan Ahmad and Christopher J. Green

Review of Development Economics, 2022, vol. 26, issue 2, 985-1009

Abstract: Using household survey data gleaned from Ghana, we carried out a microeconometric analysis of the relationship between mobile money (m‐money) and multidimensional well‐being. A key feature of this paper is the computation of a well‐being index, incorporating important household welfare dimensions including health, education, and wealth, thus allowing an examination of the link between m‐money and well‐being from a multidimensional perspective. Using instrumental variable probit models with phone ownership and public sector employment as instruments, we find that although access to m‐money is important it is its usage that has a profound well‐being effect. We also explore alternative specifications of the models in which access to, and usage of, m‐money explains the variations in the individual well‐being components, which also relate to the Sustainable Development Goals. The results from these alternative specifications suggest that there are significant welfare disparities between those who just have access to m‐money and those who use it frequently. The policy implication of this finding is that measures that encourage m‐money usage would not only promote financial inclusion but also lead to improvement in welfare outcomes and living standards, especially in rural households.

Date: 2022
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