Essays on inequality, knowledge economy and financial development in Africa

Date: 6 September 2019

Venue: UAntwerp Stadscampus, Graduation Hall, Grauwzusters Cloister - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerp (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 4:00 PM

PhD candidate: Vanessa Simen Tchamyou

Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Guido Erreygers, Prof. Dr. Danny Cassimon

Short description: PhD defense Vanessa Simen Tchamyou - Faculty of Business and Economics

Essays on inequality, knowledge economy and financial development in Africa

The objective of this Ph.D. dissertation is to investigate how the four dimensions of knowledge economy which are consistent with the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index interact with financial access in order to mitigate income inequality in Africa.

The thesis consists of four empirical papers, notably: (i) the effect of information and communication technology (ICT) in complementing financial access to reduce inequality; (ii) the role of information sharing offices in modulating financial access to mitigate inequality; (iii) the impact of financial access in complementing education and lifelong learning to reduce inequality and (iv) the role of governance quality in modulating the effect of financial access on inequality in the African context. The underlying papers are capturing all the four dimensions of the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index (KEI), namely: education; ICT; economic incentives by means of information sharing offices; and governance quality or institutional regime.

The modelling exercise is based on the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM). Data are combined into a panel structure and sourced from: (i) the Financial Development and Structure Database (FDSD) of the World Bank for financial access variables; (ii) World Governance Indicators (WGI) of the World Bank for governance variables; (iii) World Development Indicators (WDI) of the World Bank for other variables and (iv) the Global Consumption and Income Project (GCIP) for income inequality variables.

The common denominator of the results is that, among the financial access indicators, the financial system deposit (or financial system depth) channel is fundamental in mitigating income inequality by means of the engaged knowledge economy policy instruments.

Policy and scholarly recommendations are proposed.