MOBILE MONEY AS A FINANCIAL INCLUSION TOOL FOR POVERTY REDUCTION A cross-country analysis of low- and middle-income countries

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis aims to examine if mobile money can act as a financial inclusion tool to reduce poverty levels in low- and middle-income countries. In contrast to the majority of the literature within its research field, this thesis observes the relationship on an aggregate cross-country level instead of using data on an individual or household level, in order to fully examine the impacts on national poverty levels. The research question is analyzed through theory about how financial market imperfections hinder investments for the poor and consequently complicate their capital accumulation, which is necessary for poverty reduction. Furthermore does the study build on theory of how technical innovations in the private sector can produce new financial services that in turn enables financial inclusion, leading to a reduction in poverty levels. The overall results do not find support for my hypothesis of reduced poverty levels as an effect of mobile money, suggesting that further research is required.

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