Connecting the Countryside Via E-Commerce: Evidence from China

49 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2018 Last revised: 18 Aug 2021

See all articles by Victor Couture

Victor Couture

University of California, Berkeley

Benjamin Faber

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Yizhen Gu

Peking University HSBC Business School

Lizhi Liu

Georgetown University - Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of the first nation-wide e-commerce expansion program on rural households. To do so, we combine a randomized control trial with new survey and administrative microdata. In contrast to existing case studies, we find little evidence for income gains to rural producers and workers. Instead, the gains are driven by a reduction in cost of living for a minority of rural households who tend to be younger, richer and in more remote markets. These effects are mainly due to overcoming logistical barriers to e-commerce, rather than to additional investments to adapt e-commerce to the rural population.

Suggested Citation

Couture, Victor and Faber, Benjamin and Gu, Yizhen and Liu, Lizhi, Connecting the Countryside Via E-Commerce: Evidence from China (March 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24384, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3138337

Victor Couture (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Benjamin Faber

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

Yizhen Gu

Peking University HSBC Business School ( email )

Lizhi Liu

Georgetown University - Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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