ESSAYS ON DIGITAL FINANCE, FINANCIAL INCLUSION AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN WAEMU
SENOU, Melain Modeste
Université Félix Houphouët
Financial Inclusion is not an objective per se, but only to the extent that it helps alleviate poverty. This thesis aims then at investigating the mechanisms through which digital finance may solve the multiple financial market imperfections by improving financial Inclusion and alleviate poverty in developing countries. We estimated first a random effect model and a system GMM and found that beyond the specific effects of mobile phone penetration and Internet usage, the joint use of these two technologies is very key to financial inclusion in the WAEMU countries. Secondly, we made a cluster analysis and a logistic regression to investigate respectively the macroeconomic and microeconomic driving factors of mobile money adoption. We found that illiteracy, underemployment as well as the lack of mobile infrastructure are the main macroeconomics bottlenecks for digital finance adoption. In addition, the age, gender, education level, poverty status as well as the ownership of bank account are the main microeconomics driving factors of digital finance adoption in WAEMU. Finally, we estimated the probability of lifting out of poverty in WAEMU with a recursive bivariate probit model and concluded that both mobile led financial inclusion and bank led financial inclusion are essential for sustainable poverty alleviation in WAEMU. The findings from these essays suggest to governments to support both Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Financial Institutions to deliver financial services through digital technologies to last miles. This requires then a flexible regulation toward the digital finance business in WAEMU.
Digital Finance , Financial Inclusion , cluster , Logit , GMM , Recursive Bivariate probit , WAEMU