The Rise of Broadband and the Retail Apocalypse: Evidence from Consumer Packaged Goods

48 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2022 Last revised: 8 Feb 2024

See all articles by Uyen Tran

Uyen Tran

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: December 27, 2021

Abstract

I explore consumer behavior in US retail during broadband's proliferation from 2006 to 2016. Using household and retail scanner data, I analyze nine outcomes: brands purchased, trips taken, retailers visited, offline spending, any online spending, online spending share, prices, price dispersion, and demand elasticities. Aggregate trends are muted and do not support the hypothesis of a collapse of brick-and-mortar retail. Exploiting the differential growth in broadband across counties, direct effects are economically small but heterogeneous. I show robustness using terrain instruments, within-household internet adoption, and statistical power tests. My results suggest fears of broadband generating a retail apocalypse are unwarranted.

Keywords: Consumer Behavior, Broadband Internet, Retail, Information Technology, Industrial Organization

JEL Classification: M31, L81, D12, L15, M21

Suggested Citation

Tran, Uyen, The Rise of Broadband and the Retail Apocalypse: Evidence from Consumer Packaged Goods (December 27, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3994862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3994862

Uyen Tran (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

401 North 1st Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States
5203335621 (Phone)

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
175
Abstract Views
815
Rank
312,174
PlumX Metrics