Jenny C. Aker


The following is a list of published and working papers.   For short videos that summarize some of this research, please see the “Media” section of my website.


“Let it Rain: The Adoption of Environmental Technologies in the Sahel.” Forthcoming  (with B. Kelsey Jack). Review of Economics and Statistics.  See the VoxDev blog here.

Demand, Supply and Long-Term Adoption:  Evidence from a Storage Technology in West Africa” 2023. (with Brian Dillon and C. Jamilah Welch).  Journal of Development Economics.

Paying for Digital Information: Assessing Farmers’ Willingness to Pay for a Digital Agriculture and Nutrition Service in Ghana.”  2022. (with Melissa Hidrobo, Daniel O. Gilligan, Natasha Ledlie and Giordano Kalloni). Forthcoming, Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Migration, Money Transfers and Mobile Money: Evidence from Niger.”  May 2020.  (with Silvia Prina and C. Jamilah Welch).  AEA: Papers and Proceedings.  Vol 110: 589-93.

“Just a Bit of Cushion: The Role of a Simple Savings Device in Planned and Unplanned Expenditures in Niger.April 2020.  (with Melita Sawyer, Michael O’Sullivan, Markus Goldstein and Margaret McConnell). World Development.  Vol 128.

Can ABC Lead to Sustained 123? The Medium-Term Effects of a Technology-Enhanced Adult Education Program.” April 2020. (with Christopher Ksoll). Economic Development and Cultural Change.  68(3).

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Experiment in Niger“. October 2019. (with Christopher Ksoll).  Economics of Education Review.  72: 239-257. See the VoxDev blog here, and the World Bank’s Development Impact Blog. Can monitoring teachers and students – with no incentive or punishment attached — improve test scores? Yes

Is Information Power? Using Mobile Phones and Free Newspapers during an Election in Mozambique.” (with Pedro Vicente and Paul Collier).  May 2017. Review of Economics and Statistics. Vol XCIX (2)

“The Promise (and Pitfalls) of ICT for Agriculture Initiatives.” (with Jenna Burrell and Ishida Ghosh). November 2016. 47 (S1).  Agricultural Economics.

Comparing Cash and Voucher Transfers in a Humanitarian Context: Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
2017. 31(1): 44-70.  World Bank Economic Review.
Previously circulated as “Cash or Vouchers? The Relative Impacts of Cash and Vouchers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” CGD Working Paper 320.

Payment Mechanisms and Anti-Poverty Programs: Evidence from a Mobile Money Cash Transfer Experiment in Niger.“(with Rachid Boumnijel, Amanda McClelland and Niall Tierney). Online Appendices October 2016. 65(1), Economic Development and Cultural Change. [DATA]

Please note that there were some errors in the original published version.  The version on this website (dated November 2016) is the correct version.  EDCC issued an Erratum for the main tables. The differences between that version and the paper on this website are detailed in the Corrigendum.
See references on CGD and Freakonomics blogs.  Previously circulated as “Zap it to Me: Evidence from a Mobile Money Cash Transfer Experiment in Niger.”

This paper is also being replicated as part of the replication plans.  Please find the replicators’ 3ie replication plan, and my review of replication plan here.

Mobile Phone Coverage and Producer Markets: Evidence from West Africa.” (with Marcel Fafchamps).
July 2015. “Mobile Phone Coverage and Producer Markets: Evidence from West Africa.” World Bank Economic Review. Volume 29, Issue 2 262 – 292.

“Information, Mobile Telephony and Traders’ Search Behavior in Niger.” (with Jesse Tack).
American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Borders, Ethnicity and Trade.” (with Michael Klein, Steve O’Connell and Muzhe Yang).
March 2014: Vol 107, pp 1-16. Journal of Development Economics.
See the reference to our article in the The Economist from September 2018.

Can Mobile Phones Improve Learning? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Niger.” (with Christopher Ksoll and Travis Lybbert).
October 2012: 4(4), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. [DATA]

Dial “A” for Agriculture: Using ICTs for Agricultural Extension in Developing Countries.” 
November 2011. Agricultural Economics 42(6):631-47.

Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa.”  (with Isaac M. Mbiti).
Summer 2010. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 24(3): 207-32. [Citation Erratum]

Information from Markets Near and Far: Mobile Phones and Agricultural Markets in Niger.” 
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 2(July 2010): 46-59.


The Dynamic Effects of Cash Transfers: Evidence from Rural Liberia and Malawi.” 2024  (with Shilpa Aggarwal, Dahyeon Jeong, Naresh Kumar, David Park, Jonathon Robinson and Alan Spearot. Revise and resubmit, AEJ: Applied.

“Yellow Pages: Information, Connections and Firm Performance.” 2024. (with Brian Dillon and Josh Blumenstock).  Reject and resubmit. The Economic Journal.

“It’s All Fun and Games?  WTP Experiments for Longer-Term Impacts.” 2023. (With Brian Dillon, Leticia Donoso-Pena and Anne Krahn).

The Difference that a Dollar a Day can Make: Evidence from a Cash Transfer Program in Jordan”. 2022. With Jacobus de Hoop and Luisa Natali.

Learning without Teachers?  A Randomized Experiment of Cell Phone-Based Learning in Los Angeles.” 2023. (with Christopher Ksoll, Karla Perez, Danielle Miller and Susan Smalley).  CGD Working Paper 368. See blog on the World Bank Development Impact Blog, “Teach Literacy by Text Message. Really.” July 7, 2014.

“Caught in the Middle of a Revolution: The Impact of the Libyan Arab Spring on Migrants from Niger.”

Book Chapters

“The Economic Impacts of New Technologies in Africa.” (with Joshua Blumenstock).  Handbook of Africa and Economics. Oxford University Press. Editors Celestin Monga and Justin Lin.

“The West African Experience with the World Rice Crisis, 2007-2008” (with Steven Block, Vij Ramachandran and C. Peter Timmer) in The Rice Crisis: Markets, Policies and Food Security (2010), edited by David Dawe, FAO.


“The Shiny New Gadget that Works.” November/December 2010. The Boston Review.

Africa Calling: Can Mobile Phones Make a Miracle? with Isaac M. Mbiti. March/April 2010. The Boston Review.

“Mobile Phones, Markets and Firms in sub-Saharan Africa.”  November 2009.  Proparco’s Magazine, Volume 4.

Blogs, Briefs and Notes via the Center for Global Development

For briefs and notes published via CGD, please refer to the CGD website. For blogs published on VoxDev, please go to their website.

Policy Papers and Reports

“Cash, Vouchers and Household Well-Being Among Internally Displaced Households in Eastern DRC.”   2012.  An Operations Research Report for Concern Worldwide and UNICEF.

“Cash Transfers, Nutrition and Household Well-Being in Niger.”  2012.  An Operations Research Report for Concern Worldwide.

“Cash Transfers, Mobile Transfers and Emergency Response in Niger.”  2011.   An Operations Research Report for Concern Worldwide.

“Towards Measuring the Impact of the World Food Program’s Purchase for Progress Initiative”. 2008. Center for Global Development Policy Brief. Washington, D.C.

“How can we avoid another food crisis in Niger?” 2008. Center for Global Development Essay. Washington, D.C.

“Monitoring Regional Markets for Early Warning of Food Crises in Western Africa.” December 2007. Paper presented at a workshop organized by FAO. FAO: Rome.