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Migration, Money Transfers, and Mobile Money

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Associate Professor Silvia Prina’s paper on “Migration, Money Transfers, and Mobile Money: Evidence from Niger,” joint with Jenny C. Aker (Tufts) and Jamilah Welch (Tufts) has been published in the annual AEA Papers and Proceedings Journal (Vol. 110, May 2020).

Mobile money can reduce the cost of sending remittances as compared with traditional money transfer systems. Despite remittances being a crucial part of the West African economy, mobile money is failing to take off. We use supply and demand data for money transfer services to better understand low mobile money adoption in Niger. Using a modified Becker-DeGroot-Marschak mechanism to elicit willingness to pay, we find that households are willing to pay the cost of sending a transfer via mobile money, with substantial regional variation. This regional variation is correlated with agent density, which suggests that agent infrastructure might be a barrier.

Abstract

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