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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Mobile money and healthcare use: Evidence from East Africa

Ahmed, Haseeb; Cowan, Benjamin


This paper uses a difference-in-difference framework to estimate the effects of mobile money transfer technology (MMT) on healthcare use in the face of negative health shocks. We use survey data from 2013 to 16 with quarterly observations on about 1800 households of 10 villages in the Kisumu region of Western Kenya. We find evidence that MMT, likely through greater ease of informal borrowing, helps households increase utilization of formal healthcare services in terms of visits to a clinic, consultation and medication expenditures in comparison with non-users of this technology. MMT appears to be complementary with other risk-sharing mechanisms such as farm sales and in-kind transfers. (c) 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Risk sharing; Mobile money; Informal insurance; Financial inclusion; Kenya

Published in

World Development
2021, volume: 141, article number: 105392

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Cowan, Benjamin
Washington State University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG8 Decent work and economic growth

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