Heidi Kaila

"Adoption of Mobile Phones in Vietnam –The Role of Social Status"


This paper studies the determinants of mobile phone adoption during a time when this technology started to spread, by using a panel dataset of rural Vietnamese households (2006-14). Building on a framework of demand for goods with network benefits, I find that the marginal propensity to buy a phone is decreasing in the number of users at the extensive margin, and increasing at the intensive margin.

I find that households who have a communist party member or a person in a position of power are early adopters of the technology. Social status hence plays a role in adoption choice, over and above other determinants such as income and prices. Moreover, I find that adoption patterns do not differ at different levels of GSM coverage, which implies that coverage levels in all areas have already been sufficiently high not to restrict the adoption decision. Gender of the household head and migrant status are not important determinants of mobile phone adoption.

Contact person: Neda Trifkovic