This thesis examines the impact of mobile telephony on productivity in developing nations. Previous studies have suggested that mobile phones have real impacts on economic outcomes in these countries. Using micro-data from Swaziland, Cambodia, and Honduras, this study looks to identify the effects of mobile phone ownership on household productive outcomes in a two-stage regression. The results provide significant evidence that mobile phone ownership does indeed improve productivity at the household level.
A strong correlation is identified in this study between the residual factor of mobile phone ownership and the proxies used for productivity– livestock and land. Assuming that these proxies do indeed act as productive assets, and that this residual factor is not correlated with any factor affecting output other than mobile phone ownership, then it would appear that mobile phones do indeed have positive impacts on the productivity of their owners. In simpler terms, if a phone figuratively fell out of the sky and a household began to use it, an increase in productivity would be expected regardless of the household’s other attributes.
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