26 September 2019

Mobile Infrastructure and Rural Business Enterprises : Evidence from SIM Registration Mandate in Niger

Written by World Bank
Developed by The World Bank
26 September 2019
This paper studies the effects of mobile infrastructure ("mobile use activity") on propagation of rural business enterprises in Niger. Instrumental variable estimates exploit the exogenous introduction of the 2013 national mandatory SIM registration reform which provides a quasi-experimental set-up for mobile use and activity. The mandate deactivated about one-third of all existing prepaid SIMs and led to a remarkable decline in mobile use activity. The results suggest that there is economically substantial effect of mobile infrastructure on propagation of business enterprises. Moving a household with mobile use activity to a no mobile use activity environment due to SIM deactivation results in roughly 33.1 percent points decline in the likelihood of engaging in non-agricultural business enterprises. Most of this effect come from three major sources: households' ownership of a business service or center; ownership of small income generating activities; and involvement in the transformation of agricultural products.
Subscribe to newsletter