CELLPHONES FOR THE POOR IN INDIA. We are not done with a wave of very bad economic news, but this story in today’s Wall Street Journal cheered me up. Cellphone ownership in India is continuing to grow at a rapid rate, by almost 50% last year. Subscriptions to land lines are about 3% of the population, while subscribers to cellphones now amount to over 25% of the population. The article attributes the increase to rural customers with less than $3 a day in income. I posted here about how when the very poor get more money—go from $1 a day to $4 a day—their spending on things like cellphones goes up faster than spending in any other category, even health or housing.

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