Poverty and Migration in the Digital Age: Experimental Evidence on Mobile Banking in Bangladesh
Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
27th July, 2017 (Thursday) at 3:00 PM
Venue : Seminar Room (First Floor)
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics
All are cordially invited
We experimentally estimate the impacts of mobile banking in a sample of rural households in northern Bangladesh paired to family members working in Dhaka. The treatment substantially increased the adoption and use of mobile banking accounts, which were used actively to send and receive remittances.The rural households receiving remittances reduced borrowing, increased savings, and saw gains in health, education and agricultural productivity. Moreover, the households were able to better cope with negative agricultural productivity shocks and health shocks. The urban migrants were more likely to work in formal employment (particularly in garment work) and reported being less healthy, consistent with longer work hours expected in the garments sector. The migrants also saved more and were less likely to be poor. Overall, the results suggest that mobile banking has an insurance function. It increases the welfare of rural households but has mixed effects on the welfare of migrant workers.