Can Mobile Phones Contribute To Gender Equity And Improved Nutrition In Smallholder Farm Households? Panel Data Evidence from Uganda

Mobile phone (MP) technologies have been widely adopted in developing countries. Previous research has shown MP use to enhance market access through information exchange and market price integration. However, the impact of MP use on several smallholder welfare aspects has barely been investigated. In particular, we are not aware of any studies that have analyzed the effects of MP use on gender equity and nutrition – two welfare dimensions of particular importance in the context of United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs). We address the gap by using a two wave balanced panel data from smallholder farm households in Uganda to examine the impact of MP use on household incomes, gender, and nutrition. Using regression models, we find that, MP use is positively and significantly associated with improvements in household income, women empowerment, and dietary diversity. Gender disaggregated analysis shows that female MP use bears stronger associations. Female MP Use’s positively associated influences on dietary diversity are channeled through increased incomes and women empowerment. These effects are due to lower transaction costs and better access to information through MP use.

Issue Date:
Aug 28 2017
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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 Record created 2017-08-03, last modified 2018-01-23

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