ICT, Financial Access and Gender Inclusion in the Formal Economic Sector: Evidence From Africa

The African Finance Journal, 20(2), pp. 46-66 (2018).

23 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2019 Last revised: 17 Jan 2019

See all articles by Simplice Asongu

Simplice Asongu

African Governance and Development Institute

Nicholas Odhiambo

University of South Africa - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 1, 2018

Abstract

The study investigates the relevance of information and communication technology (ICT) in modulating the effect of financial access on female economic participation. Female economic participation is proxied by female labor force participation, financial access is measured with deposit and credit channels while ICT is proxied by mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and fixed broadband subscriptions. The focus of the study is on 48 African countries for the period 2004-2014 and the empirical evidence is based on Generalized Method of Moments. Policy thresholds are established at which, ICT modulates financial access to induce favourable effects on female economic participation. These policy thresholds are: (i) 160 mobile phone penetration (per 100 people) for the deposit channel and (ii) 2.166 and 0.75 fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 people for respectively, the deposit mechanism and credit channel. Overall the study supports the importance of ICT in moderating financial access for enhanced female economic participation.

Keywords: Africa; Gender; ICT; Inclusive Development

JEL Classification: G20; I10; I32; O40; O55

Suggested Citation

Asongu, Simplice and Odhiambo, Nicholas, ICT, Financial Access and Gender Inclusion in the Formal Economic Sector: Evidence From Africa (January 1, 2018). The African Finance Journal, 20(2), pp. 46-66 (2018). . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3305000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3305000

Simplice Asongu (Contact Author)

African Governance and Development Institute ( email )

P.O. Box 8413
Yaoundé, 8413
Cameroon

Nicholas Odhiambo

University of South Africa - Department of Economics ( email )

PO Box 392
Pretoria, 0003
South Africa

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