Mobile Money and School Participation: Evidence from Africa

Rotondi, Valentina and Billari, Francesco C (2021) Mobile Money and School Participation: Evidence from Africa. Population Research and Policy Review. pp. 1-20.

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This paper shows that mobile money technology—an electronic wallet service that allows users to deposit, transfer, and receive money using their mobile phones—is positively correlated with increased school participation of children in school age. By using data from 4 African countries, we argue that, by reducing transaction costs, and by making it easier and less expensive to receive remittances, mobile money reduces the need for coping strategies that are detrimental to child development, such as withdrawing children from school and sending them to work. We find that mobile money increases the chances of children attending school. This finding is robust to different empirical models. In a nutshell, our results show that 1 million children could start attending school in low-income countries if mobile money was available to all.

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