Telecommunication Externality on Migration: Evidence from Chinese Villages

39 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2014

See all articles by Lixin Colin Xu

Lixin Colin Xu

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Huihua Xie

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Yi Lu

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Date Written: September 7, 2014

Abstract

We use a unique data set of 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, our difference-in-differences (DID) estimation shows that the access to landline phones increases the ratio of out-migrant workers by 2.1 percentage points, or about 54 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 on job opportunities and timely contact with left-behind family members. Our findings underscore the positive migration externality of expanding telecommunications access in rural areas, especially in places where migration potential is large.

Keywords: Landline phones; telecommunications; migration; network effect; psychological costs; China

Suggested Citation

Xu, Lixin Colin and Xie, Huihua and Lu, Yi, Telecommunication Externality on Migration: Evidence from Chinese Villages (September 7, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2492915 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2492915

Lixin Colin Xu (Contact Author)

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

1818 H Street, N.W.
MC 3-427
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-4664 (Phone)
202-522-1155 (Fax)

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

Huihua Xie

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

Yi Lu

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
35
Abstract Views
418
PlumX Metrics