Although mobile phones are held responsible for re-arranging priorities and the boundaries of intimacy, a study has found that it does have its social, economic and political benefits.
In a new study called Mobile Technologies: The Digital Fabric of our Lives, conducted by Cologne Institute for Economic Research and Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, researchers have found statistical evidence that mobile phones aid the process of democratisation, per capita growth and gender equality. If the number of mobile phone subscriptions for every 100 inhabitants increased from 20 to 60, the average voice and accountability index—a surrogate measure for democratic structures and values, according to the World Bank—of the 202 countries sampled in the research increased threefold. The economic benefits are scattered across regions but the social upside is estimated to be more effective in developing countries, the study finds.
(This story appears in the 18 October, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)