As an important part of the national economy, the county economy is the best bridge for urban-rural connections. Faced with the increasingly complex international environment and increasing economic downward pressure, policymakers are concerned about how to promote county economic growth. As a new payment method, mobile payments play an important role in promoting the development of inclusive finance and resident employment. Therefore, it is of great practical significance to study the impact of mobile payment on county economic growth.
This paper uses a two-way fixed effect model to analyze the impact of mobile payments on county economic growth. The findings are as follows: First, mobile payments can significantly promote county economic growth. Second, mobile payments can stimulate county economic growth by alleviating information asymmetry, reducing financial constraints, easing market-size constraints, promoting entrepreneurship, and driving employment. Third, mobile payments have a greater role in promoting the economy of impoverished counties and western regions. Fourth, there is synergy between mobile payments and the “comprehensive demonstration project of e-commerce into rural areas” in promoting county economic growth.
The policy suggestions are as follows: First, the investment in the construction of new infrastructure in impoverished counties and western regions should be increased to make the development of mobile payments more inclusive. Second, the financial function of mobile payments should be optimized to maximize the universal benefit. Third, the multi-dimensional path of mobile payments should be explored to promote employment and maximize the employment effect of mobile payments. Fourth, the “comprehensive demonstration project of e-commerce into rural areas” should be promoted to strengthen the effect of mobile payments.
The contributions of this paper are as follows: First, it analyzes the role of mobile payments in economic growth from the county level, providing an empirical basis for the relationship between mobile payments and county economic growth. Second, it makes an in-depth analysis of the specific channels through which mobile payments play their role, providing evidence for understanding the channels through which mobile payments affect county economic development. Third, it analyzes the impact of mobile payments on impoverished counties and western regions, and proves the inclusive role of mobile payments, providing indirect evidence for narrowing the economic development gap between different counties and realizing common prosperity. Fourth, it further explores the role of mobile payments in county economic growth from the perspective of “comprehensive demonstration project of e-commerce into rural areas”, and finds that the project and mobile payments have a synergistic effect and they jointly promote county economic growth, providing policy enlightenment for improving the project and developing mobile payments.