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Broadband Internet and Household Welfare in Senegal

Takaaki Masaki, Rogelio Granguillhome Ochoa and Carlos Rodriguez Castelan
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Carlos Rodríguez-Castelán

No 9386, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Senegal has experienced a rapid expansion in fixed and mobile broadband internet infrastructure over the past decade. This paper examines the relationship between access to broadband internet and household welfare between 2011 and 2018 by integrating the latest two rounds of household budget surveys with data on the location of fiber-optic transmission nodes and coverage maps of 3G mobile technology. The results show that 3G coverage is associated with a 14 percent increase in total consumption and a 10 percent decline in extreme poverty. These results are robust to controlling for household demographics and other spatial characteristics, such as region fixed effects, road density, nighttime lights, and elevation above sea level, as well as for access to complementary digital infrastructure, such as 2G coverage or fixed broadband internet. The findings are also robust to an instrumental variable approach that relies on distance to 3G coverage in neighboring areas. These effects are larger among households in urban areas and households headed by men or younger cohorts. Although they are in the same direction, the welfare effects of proximity to fixed broadband infrastructure are not statistically significant.

Keywords: Information Technology; Telecommunications Infrastructure; Inequality; Energy Policies&Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09-08
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