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Broadband upgrade and firm performance in rural areas: Quasi-experimental evidence

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  • Canzian, Giulia
  • Poy, Samuele
  • Schüller, Simone

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of advanced (up to 20 Mbps download, up to 1 Mbps upload) broadband accessibility on firm performance by exploiting a unique local policy of a staggered broadband infrastructure upgrade across rural municipalities. In a difference-in-differences framework based on longitudinal balance sheet data for limited companies, we show that ADSL2+ availability is associated with increases in firms’ revenue and total factor productivity (by on average 14.8 and 9.1 percent cumulatively over two years), but not with significant changes in personnel cost or employment. Additional analysis of aggregate administrative data shows no significant impact on the total number of active firms or local employment. Pre-trend evaluations support a causal interpretation.

Suggested Citation

  • Canzian, Giulia & Poy, Samuele & Schüller, Simone, 2019. "Broadband upgrade and firm performance in rural areas: Quasi-experimental evidence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 87-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:77:y:2019:i:c:p:87-103
    DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2019.03.002
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    Cited by:

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    2. Falk, Martin & Hagsten, Eva, 2021. "Impact of high-speed broadband access on local establishment dynamics," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4).
    3. Carlo Cambini & Elena Grinza & Lorien Sabatino, 2021. "Ultra-Fast Broadband Access and Productivity: Evidence from Italian Firms," Working Papers CEB 21-020, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Briglauer, Wolfgang & Dürr, Niklas & Gugler, Klaus, 2021. "A retrospective study on the regional benefits and spillover effects of high-speed broadband networks: Evidence from German counties," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Broadband Internet; Firm performance; Quasi-natural experiment; Regional economic development; Infrastructure policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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