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ICT, Financial Sector Development and Financial Access

Asongu, Simplice and Nwachukwu, Jacinta (2017): ICT, Financial Sector Development and Financial Access. Forthcoming in: Journal of the Knowledge Economy

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Abstract

This study assesses the role of ICT (internet and mobile phone penetration) in complementing financial sector development (financial formalization and informalization) for financial access. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments with 53 African countries for the period 2004-2011. The following findings are established from linkages between ICT, financial sector development and financial activity. First, the interaction between ICT and financial formalization (informalization) decreases (increases) financial activity. Second, with regards to net effects, the expected signs are established for the most part. In spite of the negative marginal effects from financial informalization, the overall net effects are positive. Third, the potentially appealing interaction between ICT and informalization produces positive thresholds that are within ranges. Policy implications are discussed in three main strands. They include implications for (i) mobile/internet banking; (ii) a quiet life and (iii) ICT in reducing information asymmetry and surplus liquidity.

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