Telecommunications Externality on Migration: Evidence from Chinese Villages

37 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Yi Lu

Yi Lu

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

Huihua Xie

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Lixin Colin Xu

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper uses a unique natural experiment in Chinese villages to investigate whether access to telecommunications-- in particular, landline phones -- increases the likelihood of outmigration. By using regional and time variations in the installation of landline phones, the difference-in-differences estimation shows that access to landline phones increases the ratio of out-migrant workers by 2 percentage points, or about 50 percent of the sample mean in China. The results remain robust to a battery of validity checks. Furthermore, landline phones affect outmigration through two channels: information access to job opportunities and timely contact with left-behind family members. The findings underscore the positive migration externality of expanding telecommunications access in rural areas, especially in places where migration potential is large.

Keywords: E-Business, Population Policies, Access to Finance, ICT Policy and Strategies, Anthropology

Suggested Citation

Lu, Yi and Xie, Huihua and Xu, Lixin Colin, Telecommunications Externality on Migration: Evidence from Chinese Villages (October 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6644, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2337261

Yi Lu

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Huihua Xie

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

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Lixin Colin Xu

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

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United States
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202-522-1155 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/cxu

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