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Internet adoption and financial development in sub-Saharan Africa

Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Godwin Okafor, Aruoriwo Marian Chijoke-Mgbame, Paschal Ohalehi and Fakhrul Hasan

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2020, vol. 161, issue C

Abstract: Information and communications technology (ICT) adoption, and its penetration and use, in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have steadily grown since the turn of the century. Subsequently, studies have sought to investigate several of its benefits, particularly for economic growth and entrepreneurial activities. However, little attention has been paid to SSA, human capital development and economic freedom within studies on ICT and financial development. Using data from the Global Financial Development and the World Bank Development Indicator databases for the period 2000–2016 on 42 countries in SSA, we found evidence of the positive impact of internet use on different measures of financial development. Further analysis reveals that sub-samples of SSA countries differ on their levels of human capital development and economic freedom. Our results are robust to different estimations and specifications that account for heteroscedasticity in our sample and potential endogeneity. Implications of the study are also highlighted.

Keywords: Internet adoption; Financial development; Economic freedom; Human capital development; SSA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120293

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