Search and Information Frictions on Global E-Commerce Platforms: Evidence from Aliexpress

43 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2018

See all articles by Jie Bai

Jie Bai

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Maggie Xiaoyang Chen

George Washington University

Daniel Xu

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 1, 2018

Abstract

Global e-commerce platforms provide a promising avenue that connects sellers and buyers from different parts of the world. Exporting used to be an activity that was exclusive to large firms; today, e-commerce provides an opportunity for all types of firms, especially small firms, to export—the so-called “great equalizer effect” (Hui, 2016). In the context of trade and development, small firms have been shown to be one of the main drivers for job creation and innovation.1 Therefore, the inclusion of small firms in international trade through e-commerce could have important economic implications. Exporting also allows firms in developing countries to penetrate higher-end consumer markets, where there is high willingness to pay for quality. Such market access could facilitate domestic quality upgrading, either through the income-based quality-choice channel (Bastos, Silva, and Verhoogen, 2018) or the learning-by-doing channel (Atkin, Khandelwal, and Osman, 2017).

Suggested Citation

Bai, Jie and Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang and Xu, Daniel, Search and Information Frictions on Global E-Commerce Platforms: Evidence from Aliexpress (October 1, 2018). NET Institute Working Paper No. 18-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3267094 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3267094

Jie Bai (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Maggie Xiaoyang Chen

George Washington University ( email )

710 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Daniel Xu

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10011
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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