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Estimating the effect of the Internet on international trade


  • Faqin Lin


This paper estimates the effect of the Internet on promoting international trade. The Internet can reduce the information cost for traders. We study the effect of the Internet on trade by augmenting the gravity equation with the Internet. The empirical results show that a 10% increase in the Internet users increases international trade by 0.2%-0.4%. The results are not sensitive to circumstances such as adding time-varying country fixed effects into the gravity and controlling for infrastructure measures. The results do not seem to be resulting from some small subset of the data and the results are robust to considering zero trade flows. Furthermore, our results are not driven by the time series variation of the panel data either. To address the endogeneity issue, we use the civil liberty index from the Freedom House as an instrument, system-GMM (generalized method of moments) approach and heteroskedasticity identification strategy, and the results still show strong effect of the Internet on trade improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Faqin Lin, 2015. "Estimating the effect of the Internet on international trade," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 409-428, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:24:y:2015:i:3:p:409-428
    DOI: 10.1080/09638199.2014.881906

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:iepoli:v:43:y:2018:i:c:p:23-33 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Piekalkiewicz, Marcin, 2016. "Money, Social Capital and Materialism. Evidence from Happiness Data," MPRA Paper 70522, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Burcu Ozcan & Hiranya Nath, 2016. "Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and International Trade: Evidence from Turkey," Working Papers 1609, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.

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