Mobile Phone Coverage and Producer Markets: Evidence from West Africa

Mobile Phone Coverage and Producer Markets: Evidence from West Africa

Author: 
Aker, Jenny C.
Publisher: 
World Bank
Date published: 
2015
Responsibility: 
Fafchamps, Marcel, jt. author
Journal Title: 
World Bank Economic Review
Source: 
World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 29, Issue 2, July 2015, pp. 262-292
Abstract: 

Mobile phone coverage has expanded considerably throughout the developing world, particularly within sub-Saharan Africa. Existing evidence suggests that increased access to information technology has improved agricultural market efficiency for consumer markets and certain commodities, but there is less evidence of its impact on producer markets. Building on the work of Aker (2010), we estimate the impact of mobile phone coverage on producer price dispersion for three commodities in Niger. Our results suggest that mobile phone coverage reduces spatial producer price dispersion by 6 percent for cowpea, a semi-perishable commodity. These effects are strongest for remote markets and during certain periods of the year. The introduction of mobile phone coverage has no effect on producer price dispersion for millet and sorghum, two staple grains that are less perishable and are commonly stored by farmers. There are no impacts of mobile phone coverage on producer price levels, but mobile phone coverage is associated with a reduction in the intra-annual price variation for cowpea.

Language: 

CITATION: Aker, Jenny C.. Mobile Phone Coverage and Producer Markets: Evidence from West Africa . : World Bank , 2015. World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 29, Issue 2, July 2015, pp. 262-292 - Available at: http://library.au.int/mobile-phone-coverage-and-producer-markets-evidence-west-africa-0