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Epidemic exposure, financial technology, and the digital divide

Saka, Orkun, Eichengreen, Barry and Aksoy, Cevat (2022) Epidemic exposure, financial technology, and the digital divide. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. ISSN 0022-2879 (In Press)

[img] Text (9. Saka, Eichengreen & Aksoy (2022)) - Accepted Version
Pending embargo until 1 January 2100.

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We ask whether epidemic exposure leads to a shift in financial technology usage and who participates in this shift. We exploit a dataset combining Gallup World Polls and Global Findex surveys for some 250,000 individuals in 140 countries, merging them with information on the incidence of epidemics and local 3G internet infrastructure. Epidemic exposure is associated with an increase in remote-access (online/mobile) banking and substitution from bank branch-based to ATM activity. The temporary nature of the effects we identify is more consistent with a demand channel rather than that of supply with high initial fixed costs. Exploring heterogeneity using a machine-learning driven approach, we find that young, high-income earners in full-time employment have the greatest tendency to shift to online/mobile transactions in response to epidemics. Baseline effects are larger for individuals with better ex ante 3G signal coverage, highlighting the role of the digital divide in adaption to new technologies necessitated by adverse external shocks.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Ohio State University
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: G - Financial Economics > G2 - Financial Institutions and Services > G20 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I10 - General
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 09:27
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 09:54

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