Mobile Money and School Participation: Evidence from Low Income Countries

Number: 109
Year: 2017
Author(s): Valentina Rotondi, Francesco Billari
This paper investigates the effect of using mobile money technology on children’s school participation in low-income societies. We argue that, by reducing transaction costs, and by making it easier and less expensive to receive remittances, mobile money technology reduces the need for coping strategies that are detrimental to child development, such as withdrawing children from school and sending them to work. We test this hypothesis using a set of comparative samples from seven low-income countries. We find that mobile money technology increases the chances of children attending school. This finding is robust to the use of estimation techniques that deal with possible endogeneity issues. We also show that the effect of mobile money is mainly driven by African countries and that, at least for girls, it is significantly higher when the household is living below the poverty line.

Valentina Rotondi Bocconi University

Francesco Billari Bocconi University

Language: English

The paper may be downloaded here.

Keywords: Mobile money,School,Child Labor,Technology,Digital,Revolution.