Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Social Media and Inclusive Human Development in Africa

Asongu, Simplice and Odhiambo, Nicholas (2020): Social Media and Inclusive Human Development in Africa. Forthcoming in: Information Development

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Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between social media and inclusive human development in 49 African countries for the year 2012. Social media is measured with Facebook penetration whereas inclusive human development is proxied by the inequality- adjusted human development index. The empirical evidence is based on Ordinary Least Squares, Tobit and Quantile regressions. Ordinary Least Squares provided baseline results, Tobit regressions account for the limited range in the outcome variable while Quantile regressions are engaged to control for initial levels of inequality-adjusted human development. From Ordinary Least Squares and Tobit results, Facebook penetration is positively associated with inclusive human development. Quantile regressions confirm this positive nexus and further establish that the positive association is slightly higher in magnitude in the above-median sub-sample. From a comparative assessment, it is apparent that with the exception of the resource-wealth sub-samples, higher levels of Facebook penetration are associated with comparatively higher levels of inclusive human development. Accordingly, the positive association between Facebook penetration and inclusive human development is: (i) a positive function of income levels and (ii) more apparent in Middle East and North African countries (compared to Sub-Saharan African countries), English common law countries (compared to their French civil law counterparts), and coastal countries (in relation to landlocked countries).

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