Department of Economics
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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2017||The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa|
with Jonas Hjort: w23582
To show how fast Internet affects employment in Africa, we exploit the gradual arrival of submarine Internet cables and maps of the terrestrial cable network. Robust difference-in-differences estimates from three datasets covering 12 countries show large positive effects on employment rates, with little job displacement across space. A decrease in workers’ likelihood of holding unskilled jobs is offset by a bigger increase in employment in higher-skill occupations. Less educated workers’ employment rate also rises. Firm level data available for some countries indicate that increased firm entry, productivity, and exporting lead to higher job-creation (and/or -saving). Average incomes and wealth rise.