The following paper was submitted as part of the Bachelor of International Economics degree requirement. This paper was supervised by Professor Siwan Anderson under the specialization of International Development. The study leverages quantitative econometric models to distinguish a causal relationship between access to M-PESA, a popular mobile money service in Kenya, with disaggregated household expenditure. The full paper, with relevant figures and tables, can be found here.
The abstract is as follows:
While there has been increasing interest in the economic effects of mobile money in Kenya, there is little empirical literature on the causal channels be- tween mobile money usage and disaggregated household consumption. This paper leverages an instrumental variable strategy from Jack and Suri (2014) to identify the effects of mobile money on 12 household expenditure categories including health care, education, and food expenditure. The findings suggest that four categories – transportation, supporting family members, non-food durables, and total expenditure – change in an economically significant way with access to mobile money. This quantitatively reinforces several aspects of the surrounding literature while also raising new research questions related to the effects of mobile money on welfare.