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Surprise: Market Innovation Reduces Poverty, Government Still Blames Market For Poverty

People are afraid of technology. I love it because I don’t fear a cybernetic doomsday, but you can believe what you want. What you can’t disagree with is what is going down in Kenya as we speak thanks to mobile banking.

In a study published Friday in the journal Science, economists at MIT and Georgetown have found that a service allowing users to send and receive money on their mobile phones has significantly reduced poverty in Kenya.

According to long-term surveys, M-Pesa (short for “mobile money” in Swahili) helped 194,000 families, or 2% of Kenyan households, out of poverty between 2008 and 2014. Among other factors, the authors found that M-Pesa makes it easier to weather financial or health crises, both by increasing savings rates and allowing users to tap wider support networks. The effect was particularly pronounced for women and female-led households, which previous analysis has attributed to mobile banking’s tendency to give women more power in typically patriarchal societies.

Check out the rest of this awesome article at Fortune.

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About Remso W. Martinez (138 Articles)
Remso W. Martinez is a blogger, activist, and host of the “Remso Republic” podcast. You can see more of Remso’s work at www.remsorepublic.com

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