The 3ie-IFPRI seminar series is designed to highlight innovative papers on impact evaluation and facilitate discussion of new impact evaluation research. The seminars are held on one Thursday of each month from 12:00-1:30pm at IFPRI’s Washington DC headquarters (2033 K St. NW). To RSVP to any event, please contact Alexandria Cannon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
April 28: The Impacts of Mobile Money: Results from Observational and Experimental Studies
Speakers: William Jack, Georgetown University
Discussant: Robert Cull, The World Bank
Conference room 7AB
View the webcast here.
Abstract: The rapid expansion of mobile money in Kenya – a service that allows individuals to store value on their mobile phones and to send money via short message service (SMS) – is widely believed to have transformed the country’s financial landscape. In this presentation I present preliminary results of two new studies investigating such claims. First, using observational data and proxying for changes in mobile money utilization with increase in access to mobile money agents, we document significant reductions in extreme poverty associated with mobile money, effects that are especially pronounced for female-headed households. Second, we report results of an RCT in which we promote the adoption of two mobile money savings accounts amongst parents of students who are soon to complete primary school. We find the accounts lead to meaningful increases in savings, and to significant impacts on the number of children who transition to secondary school. Co-authored with Tavneet Suri (MIT) and James Habyarimana (Georgetown University).