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Mobile Phone Coverage and Producer Markets : Evidence from West Africa

ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACCESS TO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY ARBITRAGE AVERAGE PRICE AVERAGE PRICES BUYERS CELL PHONE CELLULAR NETWORKS COMMODITIES COMMODITY COMPETITIVE MARKETS CONSUMER MARKET CONSUMER MARKETS CONSUMER PRICE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX CONSUMER PRICES COORDINATION FAILURES COST REDUCTION DEMOGRAPHIC DIGITAL DIVIDE DIRECT ACCESS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EQUILIBRIUM PRICE EXCHANGE RATE EXOGENOUS SUPPLY FAIR GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT HOME MARKET HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INCOME INFORMATION ACQUISITION INFORMATION FLOWS INFORMATION SERVICE INFORMATION SYSTEM INFORMED TRADER INFORMED TRADERS INSURANCE INDUSTRY INTERNATIONAL BANK INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS INTERNATIONAL TRADE LABOR MARKET LAND OWNERSHIP LIFE INSURANCE LIMITED ACCESS LOCAL MARKET LOCAL MARKETS MARKET ACCESS MARKET BEHAVIOR MARKET CONDITIONS MARKET EFFICIENCY MARKET INFORMATION MARKET INTEGRATION MARKET LEVEL MARKET PERFORMANCE MARKET PRICE MARKET PRICES MARKET SIZE MARKET STRUCTURE MARKET SURVEY MARKETING MISSING DATA MISSING VALUES MOBILE PHONE MOBILE PHONE SUBSCRIBERS MOBILE PHONES NETWORKS ONLINE DATABASES OPEN ACCESS OUTPUT PHONE NETWORKS POLITICAL ECONOMY PRICE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND PRICE FLUCTUATION PRICE FLUCTUATIONS PRICE INFORMATION PRICE LEVEL PRICE LEVELS PRICE RISK PRICE SPREAD PRICE TRENDS PRICE VARIATION PRIVATE SECTOR PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT PRODUCER PRICE PRODUCER PRICES PROFIT MARGIN RADIO RAW DATA RESULT RESULTS RETAIL RETURNS RURAL MARKET SALES SEARCH SERVICE PROVIDERS SINGLE MARKET SPREAD STOCKS SUBSISTENCE FARMERS SUPPLIERS SUPPLY CHAIN SURPLUS TAX TERRORISM TIME PERIOD TIME PERIODS TRADING USES WEB WHOLESALE MARKET WHOLESALERS WORKING CAPITAL
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World Bank Group, Washington, DC
Africa | West Africa | Niger
2014-08-15T18:57:01Z | 2014-08-15T18:57:01Z | 2014-07

Mobile phone coverage has expanded considerably throughout the developing world, particularly within sub-Saharan Africa. Existing evidence suggests that increased access to information technology has improved agricultural market efficiency for consumer markets and certain commodities, but there is less evidence of its impact on producer markets. Building on the work of Aker (2010), this paper estimates the impact of mobile phone coverage on producer price dispersion for three commodities in Niger. The results suggest that mobile phone coverage reduces spatial producer price dispersion by 6 percent for cowpea, a semi-perishable commodity. These effects are strongest for remote markets and during certain periods of the year. The introduction of mobile phone coverage has no effect on producer price dispersion for millet and sorghum, two staple grains that are less perishable and are commonly stored by farmers. There are no impacts of mobile phone coverage on traders' gross margins or producer price levels, but mobile phone coverage is associated with a reduction in the intra-annual price variation for cowpea. These results are potentially explained by the fact that farmers engage in greater storage for storable commodities such as millet and sorghum.

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