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Mobile Phone Diffusion and Corruption in Africa

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Abstract

The explosion of mobile phones into a region that, until recently, was nearly devoid of telecommunications infrastructure provides a valuable opportunity to explore the potential effects of information and communication technology on various economic and social outcomes. This article focuses specifically on the potential influence that mobile phones will exert on corruption in Africa. Two distinct empirical analyses test the hypothesis that mobile phones will reduce corruption in Africa, as a result of decentralizing information and communication and thereby diminishing the opportunities available to engage in corruption as well as increasing the potential of detection and punishment. The results of a fixed effects regression of panel data at the country level reveal a significant negative correlation between a country's degree of mobile phone penetration and that country's level of perceived corruption. In addition to this, a multivariate regression of survey data reveals that the degree of mobile phone signal coverage across 13 Namibian provinces is significantly associated with reduced perceptions of corruption at the individual level.

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... Corruption may not be that clear-cut in the practical sense as well, because what may be considered an act of corruption in Europe, might be seen as a kind act of friendship in Africa (Bailard, 2009). Next to that, one must account for stigma effects, and that many cases of corruption are unaccounted for. ...
... Andersen, Bentzen, Dalgaard, and Selaya (2011) noted that internet diffusion has a negative causal relationship with corruption. Bailard (2009) concluded that the same result applies for mobile phone diffusion. This paper complements the earlier studies, by extending the research to the third tier, which is digital access, which still has various gaps. ...
... The rationale is that a democratic country is more transparent as compared to an autocratic country. Increased transparency results in an increased risk of exposure of corrupt practices (Bailard, 2009). Moreover, as Kalenborn and Lessmann (2013) claims, an autocratic country would not see an effect of media freedom on corruption simply because a corrupt official cannot be voted out the government by the people. ...
Thesis
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Corruption is often seen as slowing down economic growth, while simultaneously it is considered that digitalisation stimulates economic growth. The link of those concepts with economic growth is studied in great length, though the underlying nexus of corruption and digitalisation has not been studied in detail. For that reason, this nexus is analysed by means of a longitudinal study of a large cross-section of countries. We argue the inclusion of two composite proxies for digitalisation: one at a population level, and one at a government level. Modelled through fixed effects, we present evidence that a significant correlation exists between digitalisation and corruption. On top of that, digitalisation shows to be more impacting in the mid-income ranged countries, rather than low or high income ranged countries. Moreover, the moderating effect from democracy is stronger in democratic countries as compared to non-democratic. Furthermore, the results are robust to specification, but the nexus is sensitive to a different choice of corruption measurement.
... Sixth, the growing literature on development outcomes from mobile phone penetration has scarcely engaged the effect on government quality in the sub-region, in spite of the documented role of mobile phones (Asongu, 2015c) and quality of institutions (Fosu, 2015b, chap. 1) in inclusive development. In essence, to the best of our knowledge there are currently only four studies that have been positioned on the role of mobile phones in institutional quality in Africa (Gagliardone, 2015;Matthias, 2012;Porter et al., 2016;Snow, 2009). Snow (2009) established a negative link between a nation's mobile phone penetration rate and her perceived corruption level. ...
... In essence, to the best of our knowledge there are currently only four studies that have been positioned on the role of mobile phones in institutional quality in Africa (Gagliardone, 2015;Matthias, 2012;Porter et al., 2016;Snow, 2009). Snow (2009) established a negative link between a nation's mobile phone penetration rate and her perceived corruption level. The growing role of connectivity in consolidating accountability in Africa was documented by Matthias (2012). ...
... Noticeably, the discussed literature leaves room for improvement in at least five areas. First, contrary to engaged country-specific studies that are characterized with policy implications of limited scope, it is important to position inquiries on broader sets of countries for results with policy outcomes of greater application scope (see Porter et al., 2016;Snow, 2009). Second, the engaged literature has focused on limited dimensions of government quality. ...
... The investigation centers specifically on the effect of cell phone entrance in corruption by Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries and differs from Bailard (2009) and Asongu and Nwachukwu (2016) studies with some extent. For instance, they utilized the summed-up strategy for minutes estimator created by Arellano and Bover (1995) to test the causality between cell phone infiltration, debasement and between web appropriation and corruption. ...
... Remaining all other things being constant, if there is one unit change in mobile phone subscription, it will lead to −0.53 unit change (decrease) in corruption perceived level. These results (inverse relationship between LMBP and CC) are consistent with those of Kanyam et al. (2017) and Bailard (2009). The internet adoption is significant and negatively related to perceived corruption level in columns (1) and (4) of REM and in FEM (2). ...
... The prior study of Bailard (2009) and recent studies of Asongu and Nwachukwu (2016) and Kanyam et al. (2017) have discussed only mobile phone diffusion and its impact on corruption in African countries. However, this study includes the Asia-Pacific countries as these are now fastgrowing economies of the world. ...
Article
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This study uses the mobile phone penetration as a tool of accountability against corruption and promotes transparency and good governance among selected Asia-Pacific countries. The consensus regarding fast internet speed plays a vital role to eliminate the corruption through modern informational and communication technology system. This study empirically investigates the causal relationship between internet adoption and mobile phone penetration to overcome the issue of corruption. This study adopted the Granger causality approach to analyse the panel data (2006–2016) for 12 countries. The results of Granger causality test did not find any evidence for bidirectional causality from corruption to mobile phone penetration and internet adoption. This shows that an increase in mobile phone penetration and internet adoption leads to decrease in corruption. The good governance and rule of law also found the powerful instruments to reduce the perceived corruption. This study is the first ever attempt to examine this issue for Asian Pacific countries, while other studies include only developing and advanced economies in their sample.
... Second, Africa's poverty tragedy of underdevelopment has been documented to be substantially linked to poor governance, inter alia: deinstitutionalization of the continent (Nunn & Puga, 2012); loss of traditional institutions (Lewis, 1955;Amavilah, 2016) and poor contemporary institutions (Adewole & Osabuohien, 2007;Efobi et al., 2013;Andrés et al., 2015;Oluwatobi et al., 2015;Ajide & Raheem, 2016a. Despite the scant literature on the importance of ICT in institutional development in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016;Asongu et al., 2019), the dimension of social media has not been explored. Building on these underpinnings, a strand of the literature has focused on assessing the importance of ICT in governance in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). ...
... Despite the scant literature on the importance of ICT in institutional development in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016;Asongu et al., 2019), the dimension of social media has not been explored. Building on these underpinnings, a strand of the literature has focused on assessing the importance of ICT in governance in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). Snow (2009) has established that a nexus exist between corruption and mobile phone penetration. ...
... Building on these underpinnings, a strand of the literature has focused on assessing the importance of ICT in governance in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). Snow (2009) has established that a nexus exist between corruption and mobile phone penetration. According to Mathias (2012), accountability and openness are strongly increased through mobile connectivity. ...
Article
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This study assesses linkages between social media and governance dynamics in 49 African countries for the year 2012. The empirical evidence is based on ordinary least squares and quantile regressions. Ten bundled and unbundled governance dynamics are used, notably: (i) political governance (entailing “voice & accountability” and political stability/no violence); (ii) economic governance (involving regulation quality and government effectiveness); (iii) institutional governance (comprising the rule of law and corruption-control) and (iv) general governance (entailing political, economic and institutional governance). Social media is measured with Facebook penetration. The findings show that Facebook penetration is positively associated with governance dynamics and these positive nexuses differ in terms of significance and magnitude of significance throughout the conditional distribution of the governance dynamics.
... Second, Africa's poverty tragedy of underdevelopment has been documented to be substantially linked to poor governance, inter alia: deinstitutionalization of the continent (Nunn & Puga, 2012); loss of traditional institutions (Lewis, 1955;Amavilah, 2016) and poor contemporary institutions (Adewole & Osabuohien, 2007;Efobi et al., 2013;Andrés et al., 2015;Oluwatobi et al., 2015;Ajide & Raheem, 2016a. Despite the scant literature on the importance of ICT in institutional development in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016;Asongu et al., 2019), the dimension of social media has not been explored. Building on these underpinnings, a strand of the literature has focused on assessing the importance of ICT in governance in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). ...
... Despite the scant literature on the importance of ICT in institutional development in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016;Asongu et al., 2019), the dimension of social media has not been explored. Building on these underpinnings, a strand of the literature has focused on assessing the importance of ICT in governance in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). Snow (2009) has established that a nexus exist between corruption and mobile phone penetration. ...
... Building on these underpinnings, a strand of the literature has focused on assessing the importance of ICT in governance in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). Snow (2009) has established that a nexus exist between corruption and mobile phone penetration. According to Mathias (2012), accountability and openness are strongly increased through mobile connectivity. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses linkages between social media and governance dynamics in 49 African countries for the year 2012. The empirical evidence is based on ordinary least squares and quantile regressions. Ten bundled and unbundled governance dynamics are used, notably: (i) political governance (entailing "voice & accountability" and political stability/no violence); (ii) economic governance (involving regulation quality and government effectiveness); (iii) institutional governance (comprising the rule of law and corruption-control) and (iv) general governance (entailing political, economic and institutional governance). Social media is measured with Facebook penetration. The findings show that Facebook penetration is positively associated with governance dynamics and these positive nexuses differ in terms of significance and magnitude of significance throughout the conditional distribution of the governance dynamics.
... However, people in the developing world have only had limited access to telecommunications -often only by means of payphones. As recently as 2000 subscription rates to fixed-line networks in Africa were as low as 3 percent (Bailard, 2009). It was initially believed that the lack of interest in fixed-line telephony -whether due to financial limitations or other reasons -would apply to mobile phones also. ...
... The conclusion can be drawn that the lack of fixed-line subscriptions in Africa cannot be ascribed to a lack of interest in telephony and the concomitant access to the information society (Bailard, 2009). The real reasons for the lack of demand for fixed-line services are the relatively high cost of fixed-line infrastructure, the fact that it has not been available in many rural areas, and a variety of other factors. ...
... The real reasons for the lack of demand for fixed-line services are the relatively high cost of fixed-line infrastructure, the fact that it has not been available in many rural areas, and a variety of other factors. In contrast, due to the privatization of telecommunication industries since the mid-1990s, most mobile phone markets are characterized by competitive industries due to the presence of more than one operator (Bailard, 2009;ITU, 2011). The result is more affordable and reliable mobile services. ...
... The fifth reason for justifying the current inquiry is that the evolving literature on development externalities of mobile phones has had limited focus on the linkages between mobiles and governance in the sub-continent, in spite of the confirmation of the critical role of institutions in inclusive human development by Fosu, (2015bc). As far as we have reviewed, only four studies have investigated the validity of this proposition in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). Snow (2009) concluded that there is a negative relationship between the country's rate of mobile penetration and its perceived level of corruption. ...
... As far as we have reviewed, only four studies have investigated the validity of this proposition in Africa (Snow, 2009;Mathias, 2012;Porter et al., 2015;Gagliardone, 2016). Snow (2009) concluded that there is a negative relationship between the country's rate of mobile penetration and its perceived level of corruption. Mathias (2012) documented a persistent positive impact of mobile connectivity on openness and accountability in Africa. ...
... First, the need for inquiries with potential for more focused policy implications as opposed to country-specific studies that have limited policy outcomes (Snow, 2009;Porter et al., 2015). ...
Article
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Purpose-This study presents theoretical and empirical arguments for the role of mobile telephony in promoting good governance in 47 sub-Saharan African countries for the period 2000-2012. Design/methodology/approach-The empirical inquiry uses an endogeneity-robust GMM approach with forward orthogonal deviations to analyse the linkage between mobile phone usage and the variation in three broad governance categories-political, economic and institutional. Findings-Three key findings are established: First, in terms of individual governance indicators, mobile phones consistently stimulated good governance by the same magnitude, with the exception of the effect on the regulation component of economic governance. Second, when indicators are combined, the effect of mobile phones on general governance is three times higher than that on the institutional governance category. Third, countries with lower levels of governance indicators are catching-up with their counterparts with more advanced dynamics. Originality/value-The study makes both theoretical and empirical contributions by highlighting the importance of various combinations of governance indicators and their responsiveness to mobile phone usage.
... They are used to communicate with friends, take photos, play music and check e-mail. It has even been praised for reducing the scale and frequency of corruption in Africa: rise in mobile phone penetration was found to be connected with fall in perceived level of corruption in selected African countries (Bailard, 2010). ...
... Our findings lead us to query the acclaimed all-leveller power of the mobile phone. The mobile phone is said to have obliterated or significantly reduced the gap between the rich and the poor, and the literate and the non- literate, in terms of access to information (Bailard, 2010;Ledgard, 2011). Non- literate users are severely limited by their illiteracy to only the rudimentary uses of the phone. ...
... Therefore, we question the metaphor of 'transformation' typically used to describe the impact of mobile telephony (Bailard, 2010;Ledgard, 2011). Such metaphors as 'transformation' 'revolution' 'reconfiguration' have in them the denotations of totality, complete newness and suddenness therefore setting certain expectations regarding the consequences of mobile communication. ...
Article
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The explosive growth and widespread presence of mobile telephony in Nigeria has attracted comments and research focusing on its social, economic, technological and cultural implications. However, scant attention, mostly newspaper comments, has been given to the contributions of mobile telephony to the democratic process in Nigeria. Given the centrality of communication to democracy and the nascence of Nigerian democracy, filling this gap is a worthwhile task. Using a questionnaire administered on literate phone users, and interviews with non-literate users, selected through a combination of purposive and convenience sampling techniques, we addressed the question: in what ways and to what extent has mobile telephony promoted critical democratic activities in Nigeria? There is widespread presence of mobile phone among respondents but limited use and limited impact. Only 49.7% of literate users used their phones for anything beyond sending and receiving calls and text messages; non-literate users had to depend on literate others for nearly everything pertaining to mobile phone use. Mobile phones were used in campaigns, provided information but not conviction about voting decisions: they did not make 70.8% of the respondents to vote or not to vote in certain ways. Mobile phones were found to be weak for post-election engagements and accountability as elected politicians were said to change their phone lines or bar incoming calls. We conclude that there is widespread application of the mobile phone to the democratic process in Nigeria but the impact of this application is only limited.
... Fourth, despite the established roles of institutional quality (Fosu, 2015bc) and ICT (Asongu, 2015) in inclusive development, the literature on development outcomes has not given the link between ICT and institutions the research attention it deserves. Accordingly, as far as we are aware, only four lines of inquiry have assessed the role of ICT on governance in Africa, namely : Porter al. (2016); Gagliardone (2015); Mathias (2012) and Snow (2009). ...
... At least six of the seventeen SDGs are concerned with the need to enhance inclusive development, namely: Goal 1(end poverty in all its forms everywhere), Goal 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture); Goal 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages); Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all); Goal 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all ) and Goal 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries). The interested reader can find more information on the SDGs in Michel (2016 Porter et al., 2016;Snow, 2009). Fourth, the studies have either not directly: (i) involved the use of ICT for good governance (see Gagliardone, 2015) or (ii) focused on good governance as a development outcome (see Porter et al., 2016). ...
... Under these circumstances, the elite is equally endowed with conducive conditions for rent seeking and corruption in the management of public goods and services. According to Snow (2009), ICT decentralisation should lift the barriers of secrecy that have hitherto enabled the elite to engage in poor governance practices, by improving oversight and accountability with consequent punishment for mismanagement. In summary, the insight underlying this concept is consistent with the logic of Hellstorm (2008) in the perspective that ICT has considerably mitigated information monopoly by the elite which previously facilitated engagement in poor governance and the mismanagement public goods and services (Suarez, 2006;Boulianne, 2009;Diamond, 2010;Grossman et al., 2014). ...
Article
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The study investigates how openness influences information and communication technology (ICT) penetration for improved government quality in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2000–2012. Openness is measured in terms of trade and financial globalization whereas ICT is proxied with mobile phone and internet penetration rates. Ten bundled and unbundled governance indicators are used. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments with forward orthogonal deviations. The main findings are First, financial openness has an edge over trade openness when combined with ICT to affect both economic and institutional governance. Second, mobile phones have an edge over internet penetration in complementing (i) trade openness for economic governance and (ii) financial openness for institutional governance. Third, net effects on political governance are consistently negative. Taken together, in the short-run, openness-driven ICT policies are more rewarding in terms of economic and institutional governance than political governance. Fourth, catch-up in governance is facilitated by the interaction between openness and ICT. Contributions of these findings to literature are discussed.
... Fourth, despite the established roles of institutional quality (Fosu, 2015bc) and ICT (Asongu, 2015) in inclusive development, the literature on development outcomes has not given the link between ICT and institutions the research attention it deserves. Accordingly, as far as we are aware, only four lines of inquiry have assessed the role of ICT on governance in Africa, namely : Porter al. (2016); Gagliardone (2015); Mathias (2012) and Snow (2009). ...
... At least six of the seventeen SDGs are concerned with the need to enhance inclusive development, namely: Goal 1(end poverty in all its forms everywhere), Goal 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture); Goal 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages); Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all); Goal 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all ) and Goal 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries). The interested reader can find more information on the SDGs in Michel (2016 Porter et al., 2016;Snow, 2009). Fourth, the studies have either not directly: (i) involved the use of ICT for good governance (see Gagliardone, 2015) or (ii) focused on good governance as a development outcome (see Porter et al., 2016). ...
... Under these circumstances, the elite is equally endowed with conducive conditions for rent seeking and corruption in the management of public goods and services. According to Snow (2009), ICT decentralisation should lift the barriers of secrecy that have hitherto enabled the elite to engage in poor governance practices, by improving oversight and accountability with consequent punishment for mismanagement. In summary, the insight underlying this concept is consistent with the logic of Hellstorm (2008) in the perspective that ICT has considerably mitigated information monopoly by the elite which previously facilitated engagement in poor governance and the mismanagement public goods and services (Suarez, 2006;Boulianne, 2009;Diamond, 2010;Grossman et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
The study investigates how openness influences information and communication technology (ICT) penetration for improved government quality in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2000-2012. Openness is measured in terms of trade and financial globalisation whereas ICT is proxied with mobile phone and internet penetration rates. Ten bundled and unbundled governance indicators are used. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments with forward orthogonal deviations. The main findings are: First, financial openness has an edge over trade openness when combined with ICT to affect both economic and institutional governance. Second, mobile phones have an edge over internet penetration in complementing (i) trade openness for economic governance and (ii) financial openness for institutional governance. Third, net effects on political governance are consistently negative. Taken together, in the short-run, openness-driven ICT policies are more rewarding in terms of economic and institutional governance than political governance. Fourth, catch-up in governance is facilitated by the interaction between openness and ICT. Contributions of these findings to literature are discussed. JEL Classification: F40; O38; O40; O55; P37
... Finally, yet others claim that the internet plays a critical or very important role in reducing corruption across various parts of the world. For instance, Bailard (2009) notes the transformational role of mobile phone penetration across the 46 African countries analyzed, with a corre- sponding impact on reducing perceived corruption in terms of CPI scores. The spread of mobile phone communication technologies offers a fertile ground for proliferation of the mobile internet (Bertot et al. 2010). ...
... Furthermore, certain patterns can be observed across the three role categories. For instance, all scholarswho argue in favor of the critical role of the internet in addressing corruption, largely refer to different countries in Africa: Bailard (2009) Tufekci & Wilson (2010), who analyze the role of online tools in Egypt. Next, there appear to be less clear patterns across the "somewhat important" column. ...
... However, three studies within this category employ statistical (regression) analysis as a major method, while only two do so in the "critical" role category, e.g. Bailard (2009) and Tufekci & Wilson (2010), and one in the "instrumental" role category. Yet it should be noted that since the "somewhat important" category happens to generate the bulk of sources, the relatively higher number of statistical analysis papers does not really appear to be a clear pattern. ...
Article
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The paper reviews existing literature on the role of the internet in addressing corruption by breaking it down into instrumental, important, and critical roles, across two types of political regimes – (semi-)authoritarian and democracies. It analyzes the key resources and strategies utilized by governments and activists across these regimes, and looks into the common themes that emerge as a result of analyzing literature sources, i.e. the notion of crisis, lack of a single accepted definition of corruption across nations, factors found to positively correlate with reduced corruption, and the evolving nature of the internet. The paper finds that neither regime can be perfectly immune against mass-scale protests caused by dissatisfaction with worsening corruption. However, the regimes differ in the nature of protests, with semi-authoritarian regimes witnessing more violent and aggressive uprisings fueled by long-accumulated social disappointment with previous repressive regimes than across much of democracies.
... The first study by Snow (2009) found a negative link between the mobile penetration rate of a nation and perceived local corruption. A similar study by Matthias (2012) emphasized on the growing role of mobile and internet connectivity in associating accountability in Africa. ...
... Second, several investigations did not directly focus on using mobile phones as an instrument to increase the quality of government as well as democracy (see Gagliardone, 2015). Third, some findings have cautious policy implications because the empirical investigations are statistically not reliable such as Snow (2009) To achieve the study's objective, the paper structure is as follows: a review of theoretical issues and empirical issues in literature as a basis for the study is presented in the next section. The study further presents information about the data, estimation technique and other related methodological concerns associated with the study in section three. ...
Article
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In the quest for the attainment of democracy with its fully unleashed potentials, the role of information and communication technology (ICT) is integral within this current knowledge economy disposition. The study explores the effect of mobile technology penetration on governance quality from the unconditional and marginal effects of mobile phones and diverse democracy indicators. The analysis is carried out by applying the instrumental variables (IV) Tobit regression to the data to examine the relationship among the variables of interest with a view to handling possible endogeneity issues in the empirical model. The study finds that weak democracy is detrimental to the effect of mobile phone penetration on integrated governance quality and that the higher the mobile phone penetration, the lower the weak democracy quality in SSA. The study concludes by recommending efforts and policies to be enacted and implemented such as the enhancement of mobile technology for concise quality governance.
... Teledensity Bailard (2009); Chavula (2013); Stump, Wen Gong, and Zhan Li (2008) Start of mobile network roll-out Aker and Fafchamps (2015); Bailard (2009) ...
... Teledensity Bailard (2009); Chavula (2013); Stump, Wen Gong, and Zhan Li (2008) Start of mobile network roll-out Aker and Fafchamps (2015); Bailard (2009) ...
Article
Against the backdrop of alleged mobile phone ubiquity and the enthusiasm about the developmental value of mobile technology, this paper examines the manifestations, drivers, and frictions of mobile phone use in two low- and middle-income settings where mobile technology has diffused rapidly. Qualitative data from 231 participants and survey data from 800 adults in rural Rajasthan and Gansu provide consistent and strong support for the claim that the notion of ‘ubiquity’ can mislead development practice because it obscures persistent non-use, under-utilisation, and heterogeneous engagement with mobile technology despite its apparently wide accessibility in rural field sites. The paper suggests avenues for further work on the indicators of technology adoption, and it cautions that phone-based development interventions (and their benefits) may diffuse unevenly if the assumption of ubiquitous technology use is violated.
... Mobile phones are further used to send and receive remittances (Ojong, 2016), which could facilitate the transfer of funds for investments in inclusive development promoting ventures. Bailard (2009) investigates how mobile phone usage affects corruption in a sample of African countries and finds that mobile phone diffusion is negatively correlated with corruption perception in the sample countries. This is because, by ensuring that information and communication are decentralized, mobile phones reduce the avenues for corruption, and increase the ability to detect and punish corruption (Bailard, 2009). ...
... Bailard (2009) investigates how mobile phone usage affects corruption in a sample of African countries and finds that mobile phone diffusion is negatively correlated with corruption perception in the sample countries. This is because, by ensuring that information and communication are decentralized, mobile phones reduce the avenues for corruption, and increase the ability to detect and punish corruption (Bailard, 2009). ...
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The paper employs the multipurpose nature of mobile telephony to investigate its welfare implications using a large sample of households in Ghana. We use seemingly unrelated probit and instrumental variable procedure to test for two related issues: First, we investigate whether mobile telephony promotes pro-poor development by helping households to efficiently allocate consumption and navigate out of poverty. Second, we analyze whether access to a broad array of financial services enhances the capacity of households to live worthwhile lives. The results show that mobile penetration and financial inclusion significantly reduce the probability of a household becoming poor and increase per capita household consumption of food and non-food items. Our results show that the welfare benefits of mobile telephony and financial inclusion are not more pronounced in female-headed households. These insights serve as useful guide for government and other stakeholders who are looking for avenues to improve livelihoods.
... First, most past diffusion studies are generally limited in scope by focusing on one region or similar economies or similar divisions (e.g. Bailard, 2009;Waarts and Van Everdingen, 2005). The limited scope of prior studies may be due to reasons such as a lack of access to global data, an expectation that results could differ across the globe due to a variety of factors not included in the study (e.g. ...
... Second, with the world moving towards sustainable and green technologies, it is vital to check whether past findings regarding the diffusion of new products (Dwyer et al., 2005) or generic technologies such as the Internet or cell phones (e.g. Andr es et al., 2010;Bailard, 2009;Wunnava and Leiter, 2009) apply to the diffusion of Sustainable New Technology-based Products (SNTP). The current paper utilizes sales data for electric and hybrid vehicles, technologies considered to be sustainable new technologies, hence widening the scope of technologies studied. ...
Article
Purpose Sustainability is increasingly becoming an essential aspect of technological innovations. In addition, the diffusion of sustainable new technology-based products appears to be uneven across the globe. The authors examine the effect of three country-level Hofstede measures of culture and two national-level innovation characteristics on the diffusion of Sustainable New Technology-based Products (SNTP). Design/methodology/approach Regression and Necessary Conditions Analysis were used to analyze a panel dataset of electric and hybrid vehicles sales from 2008 to 2017 across 89 countries. Findings Results suggest Long-Term Orientation (LTO) was correlated with SNTP diffusion, Indulgence (IVR) was partially correlated with SNTP diffusion and was also a necessary condition. Surprisingly, Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) was not correlated with SNTP diffusion. In addition, a national proclivity for developing innovations and a history of utilizing prior generic innovations were both correlated and necessary for SNTP diffusion. Originality/value This paper measures the impact of several macro-level variables (culture and other innovation related characteristics of countries) on SNTP diffusion. In addition to regression analyses to measure the average effect size, the authors conduct Necessary Conditions Analysis, which assesses the necessity of a variable for the outcome. These insights may help multinational companies better strategize entry decisions for international markets and aid governments in formulating more effective policies by recognizing and accommodating the influences of national culture and innovation attitudes.
... The problem of lack of transparency and accountability associated with rent-seeking opportunities that is at the root of the growth of the informal sector can be eradicated as a result of the development of access to ICT services. Bailard (2009) theorizes that the historical dearth of ICT in Africa has provided the elite with preferential ICT facilities. This has significantly limited transparency and accountability in the management of government offices. ...
... Data will be made available on request. Table 6 Pooled OLS results with ICT services exports Variables Dependent variable : Informal Economy Medina and Schneider (2017), 1991Elgin and Oztunali (2012), 1991-2009 (1) Note: Robust standard errors in parentheses, ***p < 0.01, **p < 0.05, *p < 0.1. Country and time fixed effects are included but not reported. ...
Article
This study investigates the effect of natural resource rents and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure on the size of the informal economy in Sub-Saharan African countries. It does so by using different measures of the informal economy, resources rents, and ICT and employs pooled OLS and IV-2SLS estimators to estimate two-way fixed effects models. The study covers 42 countries and spans the period 1991-2015. The results reveal that while natural resources rents increase the size of the informal economy, ICT has a mixed direct effect on the informal economy. More interestingly, the results reveal that resource rents reduce the size of the informal economy in countries with higher accessibility to ICT. African states need to ensure transparent management of natural resources revenues but also use these revenues to increase public spending to support growth and diversification to create more jobs in the formal sector. They should also invest more in ICT infrastructure to help mobilize domestic resources.
... Unfortunately, despite the well-established connections between ICT and inclusive development on the one hand and on the other hand, good institutions and nonexclusive development, most of the literature on the connection between ICT and governance in Africa has been focused on the influence of ICT on the quality of government. 1 To put the above point into greater perspective, the predominant African literature on causality flowing from ICT to governance include, inter alia: (i) Snow [68] who has established a negative nexus between a country's mobile phone penetration rate and its perceived corruption level; (ii) Mathias [51] who has documented the growing role of ICT on accountability in the continent; (iv) Gagliardone [37] has engaged the role of mobile-radio interactions on the quality of government in Africa to conclude that government corrective and preventive measures are ameliorated by underlying interactions in Kenya; (v) Porter et al. [63] have focused on Ghana, Malawi and South Africa to establish that the growing relevance of mobile usage in Africa by the youth population can be tailored to achieve greater consistency between policy and practice and (vi) Asongu and Nwachukwu [17] have investigated how the mobile phone in the diffusion of knowledge affects institutional quality in SSA. ...
... We have investigated the opposite relationship. Moreover, we have not been limited to country-specific cases on the one hand and a few governance and ICT variables on the other hand [37,51,63,68]. Accordingly, we have used three ICT variables and all six government quality variables from World Governance Indicators of the World Bank. ...
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This study investigates government quality determinants of ICT adoption using Generalised Method of Moments on a panel of 49 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries for the period 2000-2012. ICT is measured with mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and telephone penetration rates while all governance dimensions from the World Bank Governance Indicators are considered, namely: political governance (consisting of political stability and “voice & accountability”); economic governance (entailing government effectiveness and regulation quality) and institutional governance (encompassing the rule of law and corruption-control). The following findings are established. First, political stability and the rule of law have positive short run and negative long term effects on mobile phone penetration. Second, the rule of law has a positive (negative) short run (long term) effect on internet penetration. Third, government effectiveness and corruption-control have positive short run and long term effects on telephone penetration. Institutional governance appears to be most significant in determining ICT adoption in SSA.
... Dada a amplitude das formas como a corrupção governamental pode materializar-se e, sobretudo, que está ocorre, via de regra, clandestinamente, há uma dificuldade inerente à sua mensuração, sendo normalmente operacionalizada pela literatura empírica de modo indireto, por meio da percepção dos indivíduos (Jain, 2001). Nesse aspecto, a exemplo da literatura empírica (Andersen et al., 2011;Bailard, 2009;Garcia-Murillo, 2010;Goel et al., 2012;Kock & Gaskins, 2014;Jha & Sarangi, 2014;Lio et al., 2011), como medida operacional da corrupção governamental se utilizou o CPI, publicado pela Transparência Internacional. Agregando dados de diferentes fontes, esse índice fornece percepções de homens de negócios e especialistas sobre o nível de corrupção no setor público. ...
... Essa relação direta negativa entre difusão da internet e corrupção governamental corrobora os resultados apresentados pela literatura empírica prévia (p. ex., Andersen et al., 2011;Bailard, 2009;Garcia-Murillo, 2010;Goel et al., 2012;Kock & Gaskins, 2014;Jha & Sarangi, 2014;Lio et al., 2011), reforçando a importância dos governos promoverem a difusão da internet como uma das estratégias efetivas de combate à corrupção. Lourenço, Nascimento, Sauerbronn e Macedo (2017, p. 30), analisando os determinantes sociais, econômico-financeiros, de controle social, pedagógicos e estruturais do Índice de Desenvolvimento da Educação Básica (IDEB), concluem que "no Brasil não há 'realmente uma sociedade de auditoria' como se observa em outros países". ...
Article
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Resumo Este artigo investiga as relações entre difusão da internet, voz e accountability, dimensão cultural, corrupção e eficácia governamental, por meio de análise entre países realizada com 117 nações no período de 2000 a 2014. Adotando a técnica de Análise Robusta de Caminho para a análise de dados, conclui-se que, independentemente dos efeitos das variáveis de controle, a difusão da internet promove menores níveis de corrupção governamental, uma relação que ocorre direta e indiretamente via mediação de voz e accountability, que, por sua vez, apresenta forte correlação com a corrupção governamental. A título de contribuição teórica, reforça-se a compreensão de que a internet constitui uma importante ferramenta de combate à corrupção, além de evidenciar o papel moderador da dimensão cultural na relação entre voz e accountability e corrupção governamental e, sobretudo, de incorporar a eficácia governamental ao modelo teórico.
... Dada a amplitude das formas como a corrupção governamental pode materializar-se e, sobretudo, que está ocorre, via de regra, clandestinamente, há uma dificuldade inerente à sua mensuração, sendo normalmente operacionalizada pela literatura empírica de modo indireto, por meio da percepção dos indivíduos (Jain, 2001). Nesse aspecto, a exemplo da literatura empírica (Andersen et al., 2011;Bailard, 2009;Garcia-Murillo, 2010;Goel et al., 2012;Kock & Gaskins, 2014;Jha & Sarangi, 2014;Lio et al., 2011), como medida operacional da corrupção governamental se utilizou o CPI, publicado pela Transparência Internacional. Agregando dados de diferentes fontes, esse índice fornece percepções de homens de negócios e especialistas sobre o nível de corrupção no setor público. ...
... Essa relação direta negativa entre difusão da internet e corrupção governamental corrobora os resultados apresentados pela literatura empírica prévia (p. ex., Andersen et al., 2011;Bailard, 2009;Garcia-Murillo, 2010;Goel et al., 2012;Kock & Gaskins, 2014;Jha & Sarangi, 2014;Lio et al., 2011), reforçando a importância dos governos promoverem a difusão da internet como uma das estratégias efetivas de combate à corrupção. Lourenço, Nascimento, Sauerbronn e Macedo (2017, p. 30), analisando os determinantes sociais, econômico-financeiros, de controle social, pedagógicos e estruturais do Índice de Desenvolvimento da Educação Básica (IDEB), concluem que "no Brasil não há 'realmente uma sociedade de auditoria' como se observa em outros países". ...
Article
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The relationship between Internet diffusion, voice and accountability, cultural dimension, corruption, and government effectiveness was investigated through a cross-country analysis of 117 countries from 2000 to 2014. Using Robust Path Analysis as a data analysis technique, it is concluded that, regardless of the effects of control variables, the diffusion of the Internet promotes lower levels of government corruption, occurring directly and indirectly through voice mediation and accountability, which, in turn, presents a strong direct relationship with government corruption. The focus on theoretical contribution reinforces the idea that the Internet is an important tool in the fight against corruption, as well as highlighting the role of cultural dimension, the relationship between voice and responsibility and government corruption, and, above all, incorporating government action into the theoretical model.
... *, ** and *** denote significance 10%, 5% and 1% significance levels, respectively. Variables are described in Table 2. Africa, prior works have reported equivocal findings about the role of mobile phone penetration in combatting corruption (Asongu and Nwachukwu, 2016;Bailard, 2009;Kanyam et al., 2017). We do not examine this direct relationship in our study, but we leverage our findings to argue that the effect of mobile phones is reportedly contentious in previous studies because phones are less effective in information diffusion as compared to the internet. ...
Article
There is significant research on the outcomes of corporate political activity (hereafter CPA). However, despite a few prior studies acknowledging the negative externalities of political activity, little attention has been paid to CPA’s dark side. In this paper, we draw on institutional and corporate governance insights to examine the relationship between CPA and bribery, which is arguably the greatest institutional failure in developing countries. Using pooled data from over 25,000 firms in 41 African countries, we find that lobbying and firm-level bribery are positively related. This relationship is weakened by in-country internet penetration and foreign ownership of firms. Taken together, the results suggest that business-government relations in weak institutional environments help to perpetuate corruption. They also suggest that internet penetration and foreign ownership help to illuminate the dark side of CPA. Leveraging this understanding, we make important contributions to the literature and highlight pertinent practical implications.
... According to (Harriss 2002), due to poor Internet connectivity, it may take time for Kenyans to achieve universal access full ICT use, since less than 10% of 38.8 million Kenyans have access to computers. In addition, (Kashorda 2009) argued that while digital Hubs are still in their initial level of development, the country still, has limited pervasive cyber cafes and institutional access to the Internet facilities (Karshoda 2009), observes that more than 80% of Kenyans live in the rural areas and this intensifies the challenge of Internet connections, even though the use of other ICT gadgets such as smartphones has proliferated as more than 77% of the Kenyan population own mobile telephones (Bailard 2009, Kashorda 2009). ...
... In order to ensure that the estimated results are not biased by omitted variables, the study includes seven control variables: lagged governance indicator, inflation, education, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, internet penetration, government expenditure and foreign direct investment (FDI). The quality of government has been documented to be positively related to information and communication technologies because they improve transparency and accountability (Snow, 2009;Boulianne, 2009;Diamond, 2010;Grossman et al., 2014). High income nations have been documented to be linked to better quality of government in Africa (Asongu, 2012, p. 191). ...
Article
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Purpose-The study investigates the role of inclusive human development and military expenditure in modulating the effect of terrorism on governance. Design/methodology/approach-It is based on 53 African countries for the period 1998-2012 and interactive Generalised Method of Moments is employed. Six governance indicators from the World Bank and two terrorism variables are used, namely: domestic and transnational terrorism dynamics. Findings-The following main findings are established. There is a negative net effect on governance (regulation quality and corruption-control) when inclusive human development is used to reduce terrorism. There is a positive net impact on governance ("voice and accountability" and rule of law) when military expenditure is used to reduce domestic terrorism. Originality/value-We have complemented the sparse literature on the use of policy variables to mitigate the effect of policy syndromes on macroeconomic outcomes.
... Our article speaks to the literature on the relation between the Internet and governance. Existing research has found that the Internet can help strengthen government accountability (Besley & Burgess, 2002) and reduce corruption (Bailard, 2009), but may also suppress voter turnout (Campante, Durante, & Sobbrio, 2013) and increase ideological polarization (Lelkes, Sood, & Iyengar, 2017). On the issue of political inequality, more specifically, empirical findings from survey-based studies in advanced democracies (the United States in particular) tend to support the view that the Internet will reinforce, rather than alleviate, the participation and influence gaps in the offline world (Norris, 2001;Schlozman, Verba, & Brady, 2010). ...
Article
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Internet‐based platforms are increasingly being used by governments around the world to facilitate public engagement with citizens. However, it remains an open question whether participation through these platforms can actually enable citizens to influence policies. We address this question by studying the patterns and consequences of online participation at a major electronic petition platform in China, a country with the world's largest Internet‐using population. Content analysis of over 900,000 petitions reveals that a substantial share of them concern lower‐class issues and are originated from less developed rural and suburban areas. Linking variations in petition volumes to an original data set of government policy priorities, we further show that online participation led governments to place greater emphasis on social welfare policies and to increase the coverage of a key low‐income assistance program. These results underscore the potential of online participation as an important mechanism to improve the quality of governance.
... Their effectiveness emerges when scenes of corruption and conversations with official asking for bribes are recorded and documented. As argued by Bailard [7], "the net effect of the rapid and massive diffusion of mobile phones in Africa will be the reduction of corruption by decentralizing information and communication, thereby shrinking the veil of secrecy that shields corrupt behavior." Mobile technology has been used for improving governance and accountability in many developing countries. ...
Chapter
Corruption is regarded as a major problem impeding development potentialities, and curbing it is a leading challenge for developing countries. This chapter assesses the possibilities of ICT adoption as a powerful tool for fighting corruption in developing countries that should be recognized by policymakers. We first consider the effects that corruption can have on economic development. Then, we explore the impact of ICT on corruption and particularly how Internet and mobile technologies can be effective in combating corruption. We also highlight the main obstacles and challenges that these countries may face in implementing ICT-based anti-corruption strategies. We address some policy recommendations pertaining to the adoption of ICT strategies in fighting corruption in developing countries.
... Therefore, ICT development is imperative to enhance the effectiveness of policies developed to minimize corruption in the context of OIC countries. Further Bailard (2009) indicated that ICT development improves transparency and accountability in management of government affairs. Given the role of ICT in corruption and economic growth nexus, we intend to empirically examine the role of ICT in explaining the association between corruption and economic growth in context of OIC member countries. ...
... Although some have considered technology as being susceptible to manipulation by those who introduce it, a host of others has contended that introduction of technology to the electoral process is the quintessence of transparency and integrity. Progenitors of the technological approach, fondly called 'the open or the populist' (Farid 2008), have nuanced their argument on the use of information technology as a mechanism of freedom, transparency, and accountability of government (Diamond 2010;Farid 2008;Snow 2009). This perspective has broadly underscored the concept of 'liberation technology' developed by Larry Diamond. ...
Article
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The use of technological devices in the electoral process has been seen as the solution to electoral fraud and manipulations in many fledgling democracies in Africa. Technological innovations such as biometric devices have reinforced democratic quality of elections, ensuring electoral integrity in many countries in Africa. The study examines the uses of biometric technology in the 2015 elections in Nigeria. This paper argues that although these technological innovations encountered some change in the 2015 elections, these innovations enhanced the free and fair character, credibility and legitimacy of the 2015 elections when compared to previous elections since 1999 in Nigeria. While the paper adopted a qualitative research method it concludes on the need for INEC to undertake critical training of their officials, as well as rigorous education of the political elites on the efficient use of the card readers and the implication for democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
... Information transfers have the ability to restrict and guide the behavior of politicians due to their constant fears that if such information comes to the awareness of citizens, it may actually be of negative consequences to them. It is also posited that the impacts of the burgeoning diffusion of information transfers in Africa have helped in the reduction of corrupt practices on the part of those in the political and bureaucratic public positions [21]. Among the role of social media is that it has served as a watchdog within the government itself and also among political parties without even talking of the citizens. ...
Article
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Overtime, the social media as contributed to the development of citizen's participation in government, as it has the potentials to create public awareness and interactions between people in a simple form and different means. Majority of citizens are users of one form of social media or the other in which they interact on daily basis and Nigeria have been experiencing bad leadership, corruption, and economic problems due to bad governance without citizen's consensus and consent. The objective of this paper is to access the role of social media on consensus and consent building in governance as citizen's full flagged participation will guarantee accountability, transparency and responsiveness in government. The paper made use of secondary sources of data. The paper recommends that free access to information, responsible journalism and citizen's participation will aid in governance building.
... Thus, research results have shown that mobile penetration will reduce corruption in Africa by decentralizing control over information and communication. Therefore, this reduces the likelihood that individuals will engage in corrupt acts, thereby increasing the risk of exposure and sentencing (Bailard, 2009). ...
Article
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The aim of this paper is to analyse the effect of the mobile phone penetration rate on inequality in Western Balkan countries and to provide empirical evidence. We explore the question of whether cell phone diffusion helps to decrease inequality and whether it has a positive income equality effect. In the developed conceptual framework, we consider that people with access to mobile telephony also have access to Wi-Fi and GPS and that individuals can perform different activities, such as engaging in e-commerce, e-governance, health, and education; paying bills; saving money; and transferring money to other persons. This represents a good foundation for poor persons exit the cycle of deprivation and leads to the development of equal opportunities. We analyse the impact of mobile phone penetration on inequality in Western Balkan countries by using ordinary least squares and two-stage least squares models (Asongu, 2015). Our results confirm the income-redistributive effect of mobile phone penetration.
... The upshot of this growing body of research is that digital tools have wide-ranging social, political, and economic impact-including on economic growth (Qiang and Rossotto, 2009;Waverman et al., 2005); bridging the digital divide (Norris, 2001); social inclusion (Warschauer, 2003); services delivery such as education and health (Blaya et al., 2010;Khan and Ghadially, 2010); better governance, political well-being, and reduction of corruption (Asongu and Nwachukwu, 2019;Bailard, 2009;Bratton, 2013); economic and industrial development (Oyelaran-Oyeyinka and Lal, 2006); financial development (Asongu, 2013); increased market integration (Muto and Yamano, 2009); reduced transaction costs (Molony, 2006); the reduction of information asymmetries ; and enabling of enterprise development to allow firms to tap into global markets and generate new kinds of IT-based employment opportunities (Asamoah et al., 2020;Benner, 2006;Graham and Mann, 2013;Okpaku, 2006). Such has been the unwavering support for these technologies that ICT tools like mobile phones have been called 'the single most transformative technology for development' (Jeffery Sachs quoted from Cable News Network (CNN), 2011). ...
Book
Only ten years ago, there were more internet users in countries like France or Germany than in all of Africa put together. But much has changed in a decade. The year 2018 marks the first year in human history in which a majority of the world’s population are now connected to the internet. This mass connectivity means that we have an internet that no longer connects only the world’s wealthy. Workers from Lagos to Johannesburg to Nairobi and everywhere in between can now apply for and carry out jobs coming from clients who themselves can be located anywhere in the world. Digital outsourcing firms can now also set up operations in the most unlikely of places in order to tap into hitherto disconnected labour forces. With CEOs in the Global North proclaiming that ‘location is a thing of the past’ (Upwork, 2018), and governments and civil society in Africa promising to create millions of jobs on the continent, the book asks what this ‘new world of digital work’ means to the lives of African workers. It draws from a year-long fieldwork in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda, with over 200 interviews with participants including gig workers, call and contact centre workers, self-employed freelancers, small-business owners, government officials, labour union officials, and industry experts. Focusing on both platform-based remote work and call and contact centre work, the book examines the job quality implications of digital work for the lives and livelihoods of African workers.
... It is necessary a complex combination of technical, legal, social, organizational and behavioral measures, provided the same technology tools that are used to deal with corruption can be used to create new vulnerabilities. The decentralization of information leads to diminishing corruption opportunities [154], and digital transformation makes governmental policy systems smarter and more evidence-based. Digitalization increases the 'digital trail', which in turn could lead to a higher chance of getting caught in the act of performing corrupt practices [155]. ...
Article
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This paper presents the main messages of a South American expert roundtable (ERT) on the unintended side effects (unseens) of digital transformation. The input of the ERT comprised 39 propositions from 20 experts representing 11 different perspectives. The two-day ERT discussed the main drivers and challenges as well as vulnerabilities or unseens and provided suggestions for: (i) the mechanisms underlying major unseens; (ii) understanding possible ways in which rebound effects of digital transformation may become the subject of overarching research in three main categories of impact: development factors, society, and individuals; and (iii) a set of potential action domains for transdisciplinary follow-up processes, including a case study in Brazil. A content analysis of the propositions and related mechanisms provided insights in the genesis of unseens by identifying 15 interrelated causal mechanisms related to critical issues/concerns. Additionally, a cluster analysis (CLA) was applied to structure the challenges and critical developments in South America. The discussion elaborated the genesis, dynamics, and impacts of (groups of) unseens such as the digital divide (that affects most countries that are not included in the development of digital business, management, production, etc. tools) or the challenge of restructuring small-and medium-sized enterprises (whose service is digitally substituted by digital devices). We identify specific issues and effects (for most South American countries) such as lack of governmental structure, challenging geographical structures (e.g., inclusion in high-performance transmission power), or the digital readiness of (wide parts) of society. One scientific contribution of the paper is related to the presented methodology that provides insights into the phenomena, the causal chains underlying "wanted/positive" and "unwanted/negative" effects, and the processes and mechanisms of societal changes caused by digitalization.
... In instances where the primary principle, such as government, strive to keep its traditional information monopoly, ICTs can facilitate horizontal crowd sourcing of information and bypass government attempts to control flows of information. Crowed sourced information allows citizens' to performs oversight in the case where both principle, as in elected officials and public servants as in lower level officials, fail to share essential information [33]. ICTs, most notably mobiles allows citizens to not only to share information and consequently threatens government officials' ability to take clandestine decisions outside rules and regulations, as well as mobilize against it. ...
Chapter
Two theories, often presented as bifurcated, dominate attempts to understand corruption in the social sciences: collective action and principal-agent. Both theories seek to explain when and why corruption happens, as well as how it can be addressed. With the ICT4D field often criticized for being under-theorized, the following study explores which theories are drawn upon to understand ICTs as an anti-corruption tool in developing countries. Through a literature review of 20 years of IS and ICT4D research, the study analyses 19 peer reviewed journal articles’ theoretical underpinnings together with methodological approaches as well theoretical contribution. The results find that even if a few studies declare some, often only cursory, theoretical underpinnings and influences, they infallibly fail to present a theoretically informed analytical framework detailing ICTs contribution to anti-corruption. In conclusion, with most of the papers containing no theoretical references, the field is still clearly struggling with theory. The article discusses the benefits with appropriating theory, such as principal-agent and collective action as well as more critical approaches to un-pack ICTs contribution to anti-corruption efforts.
... Such poor infrastructure is abysmal when compared to developed countries such as the United States where more than 74% of the population is connected to the Internet [48]. Amazingly, the use of other forms of ICTs such text messaging has proliferated as more than 77% of the Kenyan population own mobile telephones [12,47,48,49,50]. However, most e-government systems are heavily PC and Internet based. ...
Article
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Electronic government (e-government) provides a common infrastructure and direction across the public sector. It enhances collaboration within and among public sector organizations between Government and the business community, and between government and their citizens. Successful e-government depends on how well the targeted users (citizens) make use of the services. Kenya ranks very lowly on citizen usage of e-government systems, having been ranked by a UN report in 2010 with an e-readiness index value of 0.33. This is below the world average of 0.42, which makes Kenya better than only 60 other countries in the world. To implement and utilize modern and innovative technology, it requires that the government as well as citizens be e-ready, hence the need to evaluate their readiness for e-governance. Several research findings reveal that a high index may be only indicating that a country is e-ready in terms of Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and info-structure, institutions among others which is a very poor measure of the e-readiness of citizens. The aim of this paper is to investigate e-readiness factors in the context of Kenya's e-government systems. Adesktop survey was used and findings indicate that e-readiness can be hampered if the users are not considered. This means that for any government to successfully implement any e-government initiative, the citizen should be well prepared to use the systems.
... increasing the potential for detecting criminal activity (Bailard 2009). TACT research supports more informed solutions by encouraging policies that recognise the interdependence of digital technology, its users, and the social environment. ...
Thesis
Digital platforms are used by entrepreneurs globally and have changed the way entrepreneurs interact. However, while digital platforms are expected to change the processes and practices of entrepreneurship their influence on entrepreneurship is insufficiently examined. When influence is considered, culture and social norms are usually ignored, and it is assumed that digital technology can and should be used to overcome barriers entrepreneurs face. Existing research also tends to focus on developed countries and high-growth entrepreneurship. This leaves a gap in our understanding of developing countries and low-growth entrepreneurship, which represents most entrepreneurial activity. This study asks questions about the influence of digital platforms on entrepreneurship in the context of Trinidad and Tobago, a high-income, developing Caribbean country. This multicultural, twin-island state has low levels of high-growth entrepreneurship and is attempting to diversify its oil and gas economy through supporting entrepreneurship. The research takes an interdisciplinary, multi-method, qualitative approach that includes a pilot study, interviews, focus groups and secondary data. It finds that when entrepreneurs use digital platforms, the benefits accrued are in tension with platform rules that continuously change creating uncertainty, unpredictability and risk. Additionally, culture, social norms and historical structures may limit the potential for entrepreneurs to use digital platforms or capitalise on their benefits. This research contributes to the Technology Affordances and Constraints Theory (TACT) literature, which informs the research method. TACT is used to illustrate how affordances and constraints co-exist and intertwine with societal norms, cultures and structures to influence entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Additionally, the research adopts the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystem (EE) to provide new insight into the extent to which digital platforms may influence an informal and fragmented EE. This study provides recommendations to the Trinidad and Tobago government which should help them to understand the influence of digital platforms, that simultaneously aid and mitigate their efforts to support entrepreneurship. For entrepreneurs, it provides recommendations that support a deeper understanding of digital platform use.<br/
... Some European Union officials claim that new ICTs constitute "time portals" that will bring modernity to the people of the developing world (Graham, 2011). Mobile phones are also thought to help promote democracy through delivery of voter education (Aker et al., 2011), and to reduce corruption (Bailard, 2009). Others argue that these technologies enable economic "catch-up" through technological leapfrogging (Okpaku, 2006). ...
Book
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This chapter discusses what kind of strategies are needed to improve people’s e-skillsin Africa. A hybrid between technological and organizational skills, e-skills are becoming thecornerstone of human development in the 21st century. They allow ICT to be used to its fullextent— fostering economic growth, social inclusion, health and education services, andpoverty reduction. Hence, significant progress in e-skills development is possible in Africa, butit will require system-wide changes. Small-scale programs and local reforms often fail toachieve the desired large-scale effects. More equitable access, quality, relevance, andeffectiveness of e-skills development cannot depend solely on scaling up “best practices.”Attention needs to be paid to the governance environment in which e-skills programs takeplace
... The problem of lack of transparency and accountability associated with rent-seeking opportunities that is at the root of the growth of the informal sector can be eradicated as a result of the development of access to ICT services. Bailard (2009) theorizes that the historical dearth of ICT in Africa has provided the elite with preferential ICT facilities. This has significantly limited transparency and accountability in the management of government offices. ...
Preprint
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This study investigates the effect of resource rents and ICT on the size of the informal economy in Sub-Saharan African countries. It does so by using different measures of the informal economy, resource rents, and ICT and employs pooled OLS and IV-2SLS estimators to estimate two-way fixed effects models. The results reveal that while natural resource rents increase the size of the informal economy, ICT has a mixed effect on the informal economy. More interestingly, the results reveal that resource rents reduce the size of the informal economy in countries with high levels of ICT access. These results suggest that SSA countries should invest more in ICT infrastructure in order to foster domestic resources mobilization.
Article
This paper explores how far mobile telephony, in concert with other media platforms, has borne out the optimism of the mobile phonedemocracy nexus in the context of Ghana's politics and democratic practice. It examines the relationship between mobile phone access, citizen engagement, and appropriation of the technology by the governing elite for political communication and electoral campaigns. It concludes that Ghana has witnessed a rich convergence of mobile telephony and broadcast media which, in tandem with an open political environment, has significantly transformed the ecology of political communication. This development has helped to deepen democratic engagement among citizens, and between citizens and the political class, by fostering civic vigilance and accountability and facilitating multivocal expression of views from a more diverse constituency of political participants. However, while mobile phones and related platforms have allowed contra- and counter-hegemonic voices in Ghanaian politics to find expression across the electromagnetic spectrum, this access should not be construed to necessarily mean that political discourse has shifted in significant ways as to alter the fundamental structures of political power. Overall, the fundamental structures of political power and the levers of control remain unassailed by ordinary citizens, despite some of the progress made possible by mobile telephony.
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This study assesses how market power in the African banking industry is affected by the complementarity between information sharing offices and information and communication technology (ICT). The empirical evidence is based on a panel of 162 banks consisting of 42 countries for the period 2001-2011. Four estimation techniques are employed, namely: (i) instrumental variable Fixed effects to control for the unobserved heterogeneity; (ii) Tobit regressions to control for the limited range in the dependent variable; and (iii) Instrumental Quantile Regressions (QR) to account for initial levels of market power. Whereas results from Fixed effects and Tobit regressions are not significant, with QR: (i) the interaction between internet penetration and public credit registries reduces market power in the 75th quartile and (ii) the interaction between mobile phone penetration and private credit bureaus increases market power in the top quintiles. Fortunately, the positive net effects are associated with negative marginal effects from the interaction between private credit bureaus and mobile phone penetration. This implies that mobile phones could complement private credit bureaus to decrease market power when certain thresholds of mobile phone penetration are attained. These thresholds are computed and discussed.
Article
There is a growing consensus that information and communication technology (ICT) systems (here mobile phones and the internet) offer remarkable opportunities for promoting good governance, increasing transparency, and reducing corruption. Thus, many development practitioners, policy makers, and various international organizations who are committed to promoting transparency and good governance have embraced the view that mobile phones can be used as a social accountability tool in the fight against corruption. This study empirically investigates the impact of mobile phone penetration, internet adoption, and the interaction effect between the two on corruption, by focusing specifically on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The results reveal that cell phones are powerful tools for reducing corruption. Results of panel Granger causality tests show that there is unidirectional causality from mobile phone penetration to corruption, and from internet adoption to corruption. To deal with the problem of endogeneity, a dynamic panel data (DPD) model is employed.
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Political marginalization in local governance systems in Sierra Leone results in the struggle for citizens to fully participate in deliberative democracy and amplify their voices in decision-making processes. This article draws on Habermas’ theory of the public sphere to critically examine the extent to which mobile phone use alters political relations between marginalized citizens and power holders in Sierra Leone’s local governance systems. By using ethnographic data from rural and urban communities in Sierra Leone, this article shows that the mobile phone provides a useful mediated public sphere for the marginalized to negotiate political relations, inform deliberative democratic processes and remove political middlemen in local governance. The mobile phone empowers the marginalized to organize themselves and amplify their voices in local political decision-making. The article concludes by arguing that the introduction of mobile phones into the local governance systems in Sierra Leone results in the emergence of new formations of participatory public discussion and radical alterations in local political processes. However, the sustainability of these practices depends on the integration of mobile phones into a larger network of political arrangements in the country.
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This paper analyses the steady-state effect of business corruption penalties on economic growth, corruption and welfare. To that end, the baseline horizontal R&D growth model is extended to include corruption, which is generated in intermediate goods production. Taxation on corruption depresses profits in production but also wages, leading to labor being reallocated from production to R&D, and, therefore, to a higher economic growth rate. Moreover, it also reduces corruption and increases welfare if preferences towards a corruption-free environment are strong enough. The results are in line with the data observed for 15 EU countries.
Conference Paper
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O impacto das tecnologias digitais na esfera política e nas instituições democráticas tornou-se, nos últimos anos, um dos eixos principais de pesquisas relacionadas às áreas de comunicação, internet e democracia. O argumento central no debate é que as tecnologias, dispositivos e ambientes digitais oferecem suporte que ajuda na correção, no reforço ou no aperfeiçoamento dos regimes democráticos contemporâneos. A popularização da internet móvel e de suas ferramentas de acesso (principalmente, smartphone) não passa despercebido por instituições e atores políticos, que cada vez mais buscam desenvolver versões mobile de iniciativas digitais para diferentes fins democráticos como provimento de informações, prestação de serviços públicos e interação com os cidadãos. Com o objetivo de delinear e caracterizar o fenômeno no contexto brasileiro, a pesquisa desenvolve e aplica categorias específicas a fim de classificar 121 aplicativos disponíveis no Guia de Aplicativos do Governo Federal. Ao fim, o artigo apresenta etapas ou direções de caracterizam o uso de aplicativos móveis para fins democráticos.
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Generalizability is the goal for scientists (both social and natural). In the social sciences invoking generalizability is more problematic as it is often based on assessment of a mainstream population, but may not apply to groups outside of the mainstream. This is a significant challenge to developing appropriate policy and interventions suitable for Other groups. An example is given of how this concern was overcome through consideration of the Voice Of the Customer (VOC) and utilizing cognitive maps to consider the challenge of diabetes in two Canadian First Nations Communities. An understanding of the limits to generalizability is important in cases where cultural, geographical, or political differences exist. This is not only an important consideration for practitioners in search of successful interventions, but also academics trying to understand and contribute to knowledge in a variety of fields; including the diffusion and adoption of innovation.
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We examine the effects of mobile phone coverage on violent conflicts in Africa using a new monthly panel dataset on mobile phone coverage at 55x55km grid cell levels for 32 African countries covering the period from 2008 to 2018. The base rate of a conflict event in a month across our data set is 0.0039 with a standard deviation of 0.0620. We find that access to mobile phone coverage increases the probability of a conflict occurring in the next month by 0.0028. This finding is robust to a suite of sensitivity checks including the use of various specifications and alternative datasets. We examine heterogeneity on the impact of mobile phone coverage across state-based conflict, non-state-based conflict and one-sided conflict, and find that our results are being driven by non-state conflicts. We examine economic growth as a channel through which mobile phone coverage influences conflict. In doing so, we construct new satellite data for night-time light activity as a proxy for economic growth. We find that economic activity is a channel through which mobile phone coverage influences conflicts, and that higher economic growth weakens the positive effect of mobile phone coverage on conflict.
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The paper analyzes the methods of gamification in the practices of civic and political participation and it identifies research questions about the problems and prospects of this trend of social inclusion. Gamification creates a new experience of political actors, be it a leader, a political consultant or a representative of the masses; a review of the research allows us to clarify the actual “growth points” of social analytics of gamification. Particular attention is paid to cases related to game mechanics of urban participation, immersive journalism and the use of digital resources by political technologists in election campaigns. The analysis of the scientific discussion about urban participatory democracy revealed that the success of these practices is influenced not only by political will of the coordination potential of the local social structure but also by autonomy and financial capabilities of a political organization interested in civil participation and the design of the participation process. The possible examples of immersive journalism and its gamified product, newsgames, in Russian realities are such information resources as “Lentach” and “Meduza”. New digital products are actively used by politicians and political technologists at the federal and regional levels. In conclusion, the authors discussed the phenomena of interpassivity.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate loan price and quantity effects of information sharing offices with information and communication technology (ICT), in a panel of 162 banks consisting of 42 African countries for the period 2001–2011. Design/methodology/approach The empirical evidence is based on a panel of 162 banks in 42 African countries for the period 2001–2011. Misspecification errors associated with endogenous variables and unobserved heterogeneity in financial access are addressed with generalized method of moments and instrumental quantile regressions. Findings The findings uncover several major themes. First, ICT when integrated with the role of public credit registries significantly lowered the price of loans and raised the quantity of loans. Second, while the net effects from the interaction of ICT with private credit bureaus (PCBs) do not improve financial access, the corresponding marginal effects show that ICT could complement the characteristics of PCBs to reduce loan prices and increase loan quantity, but only when certain thresholds of ICT are attained. The authors compute and discuss the policy implications of these ICT thresholds for banks with low, intermediate and high levels of financial access. Originality/value This is one of the few studies to assess how the growing ICT can be leveraged in order to reduce information asymmetry in the banking industry with the ultimate aim of improving financial access in a continent where lack of access to finance is a critical policy syndrome.
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Corruption is attracting a lot of attention around the world. This paper surveys and discusses issues related to the causes, consequences, and scope of corruption, and possible corrective actions. It emphasizes the costs of correction in terms of economic growth. It also emphasizes that the fight against corruption may not be cheap and cannot be independent from the reform of the state. If certain reforms are not made, corruption is likely to continue to be a problem regardless of actions directly aimed at curtailing it. Copyright 1998, International Monetary Fund
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Legislators in modern democracies accept bribes that are small compared to the value of the statutes they pass and allow bans against bribery to be enforced. In the authors' model of bribery, rational legislators accept bribes smaller not only than the benefit the briber receives but than the costs the legislators incur in accepting the bribes. Rather than risk this outcome, the legislators may be willing to suppress bribery altogether. The size of legislatures, the quality of voter information, the nature of party organization, and the structure of committees will all influence the frequency and size of bribes. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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Why is corruption-defined here as the misuse of public office for private gain-perceived to be more widespread in some countries than others? Different theories associate cross-national variation in the extent of corruption with particular historical and cultural traditions, levels of economic development, political institutions, and government policies. This article analyzes which of various plausible determinants are significantly related to several indexes of "perceived corruption" compiled from business risk surveys for the early-1980s and mid-1990s. It finds support for six arguments. Countries with Protestant traditions, histories of British rule, more developed economies, and (probably) those with high exposure to imports were rated less "corrupt". Federal states were more "corrupt" than unitary ones. While the current degree of democracy was not significant, long exposure to democracy was associated with lower corruption.
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In order to understand the self-reinforcing downward spiral of political decay and economic deterioration in Ghana since 1975, the liberal political economy explanation, as presented most notably by Robert Bates, must be supplemented with a view of government as a highly personalist (or neo-patrimonial) machine, seeking to benefit individual favourites or networks of clients with varying degrees of concern for larger social aggregates. The economic and political debacle that extended into the early 1980s is examined. Tentative suggestions are offered to explain the adoption by Rawlings of the IMF-supported economic recovery plan, and to account for the survival of the regime in the face of opposition from those groups adversely affected by the cost of economic recovery. -G.P.Hollier
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In recent years, economists have come to recognize that corruption is not just an aberration or a nuisance; it is a systemic feature of many economies, which constitutes a significant impediment to economic development. The authors present an overview of the literature on the causes and consequences of corruption and briefly comment on some policy issues, drawing on recent research, including their own.
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African countries have recently experienced an extraordinary and largely unanticipated boom in the uptake of mobile phones, and increasing rates of access to the internet. This thesis investigates how and why these information and communication technologies (ICT) are being adopted for use in Tanzanian micro and small enterprises (MSEs), and explores the changes they are bringing about to the existing business culture of marginalised economies. The study covers three sub-sectors of the Tanzanian economy: perishable foodstuffs trading, the informal construction industry and the export of African blackwood carvings. The analysis is based on fieldwork undertaken over a total of 15 months in 2002 and 2003, during which time business networks were revealed by physically following entrepreneurs and their contacts operating in different locations throughout the country. Entrepreneurs were asked to draw their own comparisons between the traditional pre-ICT situation and the improved ICT access of today. The discussion is informed by the findings of semi-structured interviews with these individuals, excerpts of which are presented in the text to give voice to the entrepreneurs. Various ingenious and at times unconventional methods of access to, and appropriation of, ICT is uncovered. Together these suggest that official indicators underestimate the thirst for digital consumption, especially for mobile phones, and help explain the flourishing informal economy of handset acquisition. Internet penetration and uptake for use in business, on the other hand, is revealed to be far slower. Nevertheless, the research does reveal that a sizeable amount of poorer entrepreneurs are using a triumvirate of hired or shared ICT – mobile phones, the Internet and the ‘old’ ICT of fax – to create what can appear to be a more formal enterprise than it may actually be. The ‘mobile office’ effectively allows poorer entrepreneurs to operate without premises, thereby saving costs on rent and allowing the enterprise to remain informal. This heralds a considerable change in the working practices of a significant branch of informal sector operators who have gone unnoticed, and calls for a reconstruction and redefinition of this crucial source of entrepreneurship in developing economies. Despite the huge uptake of mobile phones in particular, the work also cautions that some traditional pre-ICT aspects of the African business culture look set to remain for some time. It becomes clear that where entrepreneurs do decide to use ICT, reputation and recommendation are still very significant. This information is usually passed on when an entrepreneur meets in person with contacts from his very fluid informal networks of knowledge. Trust, and the need for direct, personal interaction through face-to-face contact – one of the most pervasive features of African MSE economies – emerge as a common theme across the case study industries and are likely to remain a crucial aspect of the way most MSE business is conducted. Mobile phones are seen to play a crucial role in improving the exchange of supply-anddemand information domestically, while a combination of applications (particularly e-mail) appear to act as tools with which to refresh relationships with sources of market information outside the country. It is suggested that ICT may be able to help entrepreneurs in moving from the personal to the impersonal exchange – a challenge that many other African businesses will also have to come to terms with as the Internet becomes an ever more important global trading tool.
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In the previous issue of this journal (ROAPE 84), the author argued that international anti‐corruption efforts created conflicts between aid donors and African debtor governments because they attacked the ability of local interests to control and appropriate state resources. The control of corruption is an essential element in the legitimation of liberal democracy and in the promotion of global markets. However, it also threatens the local accumulation of wealth and property (dependent as it is on access to the state) in post‐colonial Africa. This article explores another dimension of this problem, namely the way in which clientelist forms of political mobilisation have promoted corruption and intensified crisis. Clientelism has been a key mechanism through which political interests have built the electoral support necessary to ensure access to the state's resources. In turn, it has shaped a politics of factional competition over power and resources, a politics obsessed with the division of the political spoils. The article argues that this process is not unique to Africa. What is different, however, is that factional conflict and its attendant corruption have had such devastating consequences. This reflects the particular forms which clientelism has taken on the continent. There is a need, it concludes, to find ways to shift African politics towards issues of social justice and government performance and away from a concern with a division of the state's resources.
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In recent years, economists have come to recognize that corruption is not just an aberration or a nuisance; it is a systemic feature of many economies, which constitutes a significant impediment to economic development. The authors present an overview of the literature on the causes and consequences of corruption and briefly comment on some policy issues, drawing on recent research, including their own.
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Among scholars the subject of corruption is nearly taboo. Placing it in a model of developing economy as a developing factor is even worse in some eyes. No doubt, Nathaniel H. Leff's analysis will be misunderstood. So be it. It still bids us to understand an important area of social behavior, and tells us why public policies will fail. The author is at Harvard University.
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The study of the causes and consequences of corruption has a long history in economics, dating back at least to the seminal contributions to the rent-seeking literature by Bhagwati (1982), Krueger (1974), Rose- Ackerman (1978), Tullock (1967), and others. However, empirical work in this area has been limited, partly because the efficiency of govern- ment institutions cannot easily be quantified. Corruption in particular is by its very nature difficult to measure. Renewed interest in the topic has led a number of researchers to attempt to quantify, using regression analysis and indices developed by private rating agencies, the extent to which corruption permeates eco- nomic interactions. These indices are typically based on replies to standardized questionnaires by consultants in a variety of countries and therefore have the obvious drawback of being subjective. Nevertheless, the correlation between indices produced by different rating agencies is very high, suggesting a certain consensus on the ranking of countries according to their degree of corruption. In addition, the high prices that the rating agencies charge their customers (usually multinational com- panies and international banks) for access to these indices are indirect evidence that the information is useful. At the same time, however, the consultantsí judgments that form the basis of these indices may be influenced by the economic performance of the countries they monitor. Thus, researchers who use such indices must be extremely cautious in asserting a causal relationship between Paolo Mauro is an economist at the International Monetary Fund, Washington. Helpful conversa- tions with Andrei Shleifer and Vito Tanzi are gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed here are strictly personal. The author does not necessarily agree with the subjective indices relating to any given country.
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Developing countries generally have low levels of Internet services, and as a result require different approaches to impact measurement than developed countries. A conceptual framework is proposed which accepts a role for technological innovation, but which rejects technological determinism. It recognizes that economic, social, political and cultural factors affect the penetration and use of the Internet. It emphasizes direct and indirect impacts of the Internet on people, while including impacts on institutions and the environmental factors and policies that affect institutional impacts. Ultimately the Internet is an induced innovation, but developing countries still suffer from the Matthew principle – that those who have most will be given still more. Impacts of the Internet range from communications cost savings, to changes in performance of individual businesses, NGOs, government agencies, and schools, to changes in performance of markets, to those measured in terms of economic growth, equity, health status, knowledge, and environmental quality. The overall view of the impacts of the Internet emerges (as does the picture in a jigsaw puzzle) from combining many studies of specific effects, each conveying a part of the picture. The majority of the people of the world live in low and middle income countries; they have the greatest need of the Internet to help solve the pressing problems of poverty, and they are the least prepared to use the technology and appropriate its benefits. Clearly great benefits are available to developing countries from appropriate uses of even their scarce Internet networks. Many of the institutions affected by the Internet are international. Internet impacts on these international institutions must be confronted. Thus developing countries may face significant risks from participation in international financial, labor and goods and services markets, because of significant gaps in connectivity and in knowledge and information. On the other hand, they may benefit greatly from power uses of the Internet abroad, of which Africans are scarcely aware, such as famine early warning and epidemiological alert systems. Donor agencies encourage the development of the Internet in developing countries, and especially in Africa. Several have agreed to work collaboratively to learn the lessons from their experience. Such efforts are important if the potential of the Internet is to be realized in developing countries, the risks inherent in the Internet are to be avoided or ameliorated, and the net effect to be enhanced equity and social and economic growth.
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As far as corruption in Africa is both conspicuous and generalised, it has to be studied from the viewpoint of the participants. This article starts with six general theses on corruption in Africa, which place it within a broader ‘corruption complex’, and emphasise its routine nature, the stigmatisation of corruption despite the absence of effective sanctions, its apparent irreversibility, the absence of correlation with regime types and its legitimacy to its perpetrators. Corruption is then shown to be socially embedded in ‘logics’ of negotiation, gift-giving, solidarity, predatory authority and redistributive accumulation. Any anti-corruption policy must face up to these realities.
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The recent prodemocracy movements have given new life to the struggle against corruption. With their greater scope for popular expression, they tend to be less compromising in their opposition to bribery and other blatantly dishonest practices than most of the earlier campaigns carried out "from above'. But it is unlikely that any particular measure or institutional form, even if benefiting from popular involvement and control, can eliminate corruption as such. In the midst of economic collapse and chaotic political change, new impulses and opportunities for theft and dishonesty are bound to arise. Over the longer term, only a profound transformation in social and political relations is likely significantly to weaken corruption's underlying causes, with their roots deep in Africa's dependent economic and state structures. -from Author
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At the end of his suggestive political analysis of Nairobi, Herbert Werlin asserts that a major goal for Kenya politics “is to build up the basis for cooperation” (p. 197). Cooperation existed in Kenya under British colonialism; it exists in Britain today. Lack of cooperation at present makes it more difficult for Kenya and Nairobi to solve acute social and economic problems. For Werlin, cooperation requires an educated, public-spirited citizenry, a politically conscious, reform minded business class, and a corps of dedicated professional administrators (p. 197). Cooperation requires a modern social order which in American cities has functioned to encourage “good government”. But this very modern concept of cooperation tells us more about where Kenya and Nairobi ought to go than how they should get there.
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Though corruption poses fundamental challenges to both democratic governance and market economies, political science research has only recently begun to address corruption in a comparative context. In this article we explain variation in the perceived level of corruption (defined as the misuse of public office for private gain) across fifty countries. We propose a set of hypotheses that explain variation in corruption levels in terms of domestic political-economic structure, democratic norms, integration into the international economy, and Protestant religious affiliation. Levels of corruption, we propose, are higher: (1) the lower the average income level, (2) the greater the extent of state control of the economy, (3) the weaker are democratic norms and institutions, (4) the lower the degree of integration in the world economy, and (5) the lower the share of the population with Protestant religious affiliation. The data analysis broadly confirms our predictions: in the multivariate regression, each of the independent variables is significant in the direction we expect.
Conference Paper
There is considerable speculation about the correlation between investments in telecommunications and economic development. Mobile phones, by virtue of their role as carriers and conduits of information, ought to lessen the information asymmetries in markets, thereby making rural and undeveloped markets more efficient. This research tests this assumption using a case-study from India, where the fishing community in the south-western state of Kerala has adopted mobile phones in large numbers. We find that with the wide-spread use of mobile phones, markets become more efficient as risk and uncertainty are reduced; there is greater market integration; there are gains in productivity and in the Marshallian surplus (sum of consumer and producer surplus); and price dispersion and price fluctuations are reduced. The potential efficiencies are, however, subject to easy access to capital, without which the market remains less efficient than it could be. Finally, the quality of life of the fishermen improves as they feel less isolated, and less at risk in times of emergencies
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Community-driven development (CDD) is being currently proposed as the main avenue to fighting poverty and circumventing the shortcomings of state-directed aid resources. One of the main difficulties in CDD programs lies in their vulnerability to capture by local elites. The paper discusses the possibility of mitigating this problem through a so-called leader-disciplining mechanism (LDM) that relies on a sequential disbursement procedure supported by a fraud detection mechanism. On the basis of the LDM framework, it is argued in particular that too quick and massive a rush on CDD may prove self-defeating in the sense that the share of aid resources actually reaching the poor will be low if donor agencies are impatient to achieve results.
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Cell phones are quickly transforming markets in low-income countries. The effect is particularly dramatic in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where cell phones often represent the first telecommunications infrastructure. Niger had approximately 2 landlines for every 1,000 people when mobile phones were first introduced in 2001. Since that time, mobile phone coverage has increased significantly throughout the country, with over 78 percent of markets covered by 2007. This working paper assesses the impact of mobile phones on grain market performance in one of the world’s poorest countries. Aker finds that the introduction of mobile phones is associated with a 20-percent reduction in grain price differences across markets, with a larger impact for markets that are farther apart and those that are linked by poor-quality roads. Cell phones also have a larger impact over time: as more markets have cell phone coverage, the greater the reduction in price differences. This is primarily due to changes in grain traders’ marketing behavior: cell phones lead to reduced search costs, more market information and increased efficiency in moving goods across the country. Aker concludes by outlining the ways in which information technology can be used as an effective poverty-reduction strategy in low-income countries.
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A survey in Kigali, Rwanda, suggests that mobiles are allowing microentrepreneurs to develop new business contacts. The results detail the impact of mobile ownership on the social networks of microentrepreneurs in lowteledensity areas, focusing on the evolving mix of business and personal calls made by users. The study differentiates between the contacts amplified through mobile ownership (friends and family ties) and those enabled by mobile ownership (new business ties). The article discusses applicability of the results to settings beyond Rwanda.
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When information is limited or costly, agents are unable to engage in optimal arbitrage. Excess price dispersion across markets can arise, and goods may not be allocated efficiently. In this setting, information technologies may improve market performance and increase welfare. Between 1997 and 2001, mobile phone service was introduced throughout Kerala, a state in India with a large fishing industry. Using microlevel survey data, we show that the adoption of mobile phones by fishermen and wholesalers was associated with a dramatic reduction in price dispersion, the complete elimination of waste, and near-perfect adherence to the Law of One Price. Both consumer and producer welfare increased.
Article
According to official statistics, 20 percent of Uganda's total public expenditure was spent on education in the mid-1990s, most of it on primary education. One of the large public programs was a capitation grant to cover schools' nonwage expenditures. Using panel data from a unique survey of primary schools, we assess the extent to which the grant actually reached the intended end-user (schools). The survey data reveal that during 1991–1995, the schools, on average, received only 13 percent of the grants. Most schools received nothing. The bulk of the school grant was captured by local officials (and politicians). The data also reveal considerable variation in grants received across schools, suggesting that rather than being passive recipients of flows from the government, schools use their bargaining power to secure greater shares of funding. We find that schools in better-off communities managed to claim a higher share of their entitlements. As a result, actual education spending, in contrast to budget allocations, is regressive. Similar surveys in other African countries confirm that Uganda is not a special case.
Article
This paper analyzes a newly assembled data set consisting of subjective indices of corruption, the amount of red tape, the efficiency of the judicial system, and various categories of political stability for a cross section of countries. Corruption is found to lower investment, thereby lowering economic growth. The results are robust to controlling for endogeneity by using an index of ethnolinguistic fractionalization as an instrument. Copyright 1995, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
This paper presents two propositions about corruption. First, the structure of government institutions and of the political process are very important determinants of the level of corruption. In particular, weak governments that do not control their agencies experience very high corruption levels. Second, the illegality of corruption and the need for secrecy make it much more distortionary and costly than its sister activity, taxation. These results may explain why, in some less developed countries, corruption is so high and so costly to development.
Article
There is considerable speculation about the correlation between investments in telecommunications and economic development. Yet, there has been very little research on whether there is a connection between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and economic growth, and if indeed a connection can be established, how it works. Vast populations in developing countries live in rural areas and are subject to the vagaries of their highly inefficient markets. Mobile phones, by virtue of their role as carriers and conduits of information, ought to lessen the information asymmetries in markets, thereby making rural and undeveloped markets more efficient. This article tests this assumption using a case-study from India, where the fishing community in the southwestern state of Kerala has adopted mobile phones in large numbers.Using mobile phones at sea, fishermen are able to respond quickly to market demand and prevent unnecessary wastage of catch-fish being a highly perishable commodity-a common occurrence before the adoption of phones. At the marketing end, mobile phones help coordinate supply and demand, and merchants and transporters are able to take advantage of the free flow of price information by catering to demand in undersupplied markets. There is also far less wastage of time and resources in all segments of the fishing community. Fishermen spend less time idling on shore and at sea, whereas owners and agents go to the landing centers only when they receive information (via mobile phones) that their boats are about to dock. We find that with the widespread use of mobile phones, markets become more efficient as risk and uncertainty are reduced. There is greater market integration; there are gains in productivity and in the Marshallian surplus (sum of consumer and producer surplus); and price dispersion and price fluctuations are reduced. The potential efficiencies are, however, subject to easy access to capital, especially at the production end of the supply chain, without which the market remains less efficient than it could be. Finally, the quality of life of the fishermen improves as they feel less isolated and less at risk in emergencies. (c) 2007 by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
We empirically test existing theories on the provision of public goods, in particular air quality, using data on sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations from the Global Environment Monitoring Projects for 107 cities in 42 countries from 1971 to 1996. The results are as follows: First, we provide additional support for the claim that the degree of democracy has an independent positive effect on air quality. Second, we find that among democracies, presidential systems are more conducive to air quality than parliamentary ones. Third, in testing competing claims about the effect of interest groups on public goods provision in democracies we establish that labor union strength contributes to lower environmental quality, whereas the strength of green parties has the opposite effect.
Mobile markets deny middlemen. BBC News Retrieved from http://news. bbc.co.uk/go Mobile communications in South Africa, Tanzania and Egypt: Results from community and business surveys
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Ross, W. (2004). Mobile markets deny middlemen. BBC News. Retrieved from http://news. bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/africa/3321167.stm Samuel, J., Shah, N., & Hadingham, W. (2005). Mobile communications in South Africa, Tanzania and Egypt: Results from community and business surveys. Vodafone Policy Paper Series, 2, 44–52.
Health and Education Financial Tracking Study
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Price Waterhouse Coopers. (1999). Health and Education Financial Tracking Study. Report pre-pared for government of Tanzania.
Social impact of mobile telephony in Latin America Retrieved from the GSM Latin America Association Web site: http://www.gsmlaa.org/files Corruption and self-interest in Kampala and Nairobi
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Frost & Sullivan. (2006). Social impact of mobile telephony in Latin America. Retrieved from the GSM Latin America Association Web site: http://www.gsmlaa.org/files/content/0/94/ Social%20Impact%20of%20Mobile%20Telephony%20in%20Latin%20America.pdf Greenstone, J. D. (1966). Corruption and self-interest in Kampala and Nairobi. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 8, 199–210.
Coincident revolutions and the emergent dictator's dilemma: Thoughts on communication and democratization
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, C. R., with Aragon, J. (1997). Coincident revolutions and the emergent dictator's dilemma: Thoughts on communication and democratization. In J. E. Allison (Ed.), Technology, development, and democracy: International conflict and cooperation in the information age (pp. 105–130).
Cellphones catapult rural Africa to 21st century New York Times The economic and social benefits of mobile services in Bangladesh: A case study for the GSM Association Economic development through bureaucratic corruption
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LaFraniere, S. (2005). Cellphones catapult rural Africa to 21st century. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/25/international/africa/25africa.html?ex=1282622400& en=32b49363eac57aae&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss Lane, B., Sweet, S., Lewin, D., Sephton, J., & Petini, I. (2006). The economic and social benefits of mobile services in Bangladesh: A case study for the GSM Association. Retrieved from http:// www.dirsi.net/english/files/Ovum%20Bangladesh%20Main%20report1f.pdf Leff, N. (1964). Economic development through bureaucratic corruption. American Behavioral Scientist, 8(3), 8–14.
Indian politician's son guilty of model's murder. Free Republic. Retrieved from http://www.freerepublic.com Local capture evidence from a central government transfer program in Uganda
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Rautray, S. (2006). Indian politician's son guilty of model's murder. Free Republic. Retrieved from http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1755260/posts Reinikka, R., & Svensson, J. (2004). Local capture evidence from a central government transfer program in Uganda. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119, 679–706.
Africa's cellphone explosion changes economics, society. USA Today Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/gear/2005-10-16-africa-cellular_x.htm Ogendeji GSM operator supports fight against corruption. Network World A moral economy of corruption
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