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Spillovers in ICT Adoption from Formal to Informal Firms : Evidence from Zambia
World Bank
2024.04.23
This paper examines spillovers in the use of digital technologies from formal to informal businesses by exploring differences in geographic proximity. Using a unique set of geocoded data from the 2019 World Bank Enterprise Surveys in Zambia, the findings indicate that closer geographic proximity to formal firms is associated with a significantly higher likelihood of digital adoption by informal businesses. The finding holds for various types of digital technologies, ranging from computers, tablets, and cell phones to mobile money transactions, and is robust to various measures of geographic proximity and model modifications. The results vary by the owner’s level of education and business age. The results also suggest that the spillovers in information and communications technology use can be explained by competition in the local market and learning through enhanced interactions.