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Speed 2.0 - Evaluating Access to Universal Digital Highways

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  • Gabriel Ahlfeldt
  • Pantelis Koutroumpis
  • Tommaso Valletti

Abstract

This paper shows that having access to a fast Internet connection is an important determinant of capitalization effects in property markets. Our empirical strategy combines a boundary discontinuity design with controls for time-invariant effects and arbitrary macro-economic shocks at a very local level to identify the causal effect of broadband speed on property prices from variation that is plausibly exogenous. Applying this strategy to a micro data set from England between 1995 and 2010 we find a significantly positive effect, but diminishing returns to speed. Our results imply that disconnecting an average property from a high-speed first-generation broadband connection (offering Internet speed up to 8 Mbit/s) would depreciate its value by 2.8%. In contrast, upgrading such a property to a faster connection (offering speeds up to 24 Mbit/s) would increase its value by no more than 1%. We decompose this effect by income and urbanization, finding considerable heterogeneity. These estimates are used to evaluate proposed plans to deliver fast broadband universally. We find that increasing speed and connecting unserved households passes a cost-benefit test in urban and some suburban areas, while the case for universal delivery in rural areas is not as strong.

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  • Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Pantelis Koutroumpis & Tommaso Valletti, 2015. "Speed 2.0 - Evaluating Access to Universal Digital Highways," CESifo Working Paper Series 5186, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5186
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    Cited by:

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    2. Bourreau, Marc & Grzybowski, Lukasz & Hasbi, Maude, 2019. "Unbundling the incumbent and deployment of high-speed internet: Evidence from France," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    3. Benjamin Faber & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & Felix Weinhardt, 2015. "ICT and Education: Evidence from Student Home Addresses," SERC Discussion Papers 0186, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    4. Grzybowski, Lukasz & Hasbi, Maude & Liang, Julienne, 2018. "Transition from copper to fiber broadband: The role of connection speed and switching costs," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-10.
    5. Briglauer, Wolfgang & Dürr, Niklas S. & Falck, Oliver & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2019. "Does state aid for broadband deployment in rural areas close the digital and economic divide?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 68-85.
    6. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M., 2018. "Weights to address non‐parallel trends in panel difference‐in‐differences models," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Jung, Juan & López-Bazo, Enrique, 2020. "On the regional impact of broadband on productivity: The case of Brazil," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1).
    8. Lobo, Bento J. & Alam, Md Rafayet & Whitacre, Brian E., 2020. "Broadband speed and unemployment rates: Data and measurement issues," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1).
    9. Dorothee Bär & Peter Knauth & Wilhelm Eschweiler & Wolfgang Kopf & Valentina Daiber & Wilhelm Dresselhaus & Iris Henseler-Unger & Christian Wernick & Justus Haucap & Ulrich Heimeshoff & Mirjam Lange &, 2016. "Wie viel ist genug? Breitbandausbau in Deutschland," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 69(20), pages 03-28, October.
    10. Hasbi, Maude, 2017. "Impact of Very High-Speed Broadband on Local Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence," 14th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Kyoto 2017: Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society 168484, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    11. Constantin Mang, 2016. "Market Consequences of ICT Innovations," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 70, November.
    12. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Roth, Duncan & Seidel, Tobias, 2018. "The regional effects of Germany’s national minimum wage," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 127-130.
    13. 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).
    14. Abrardi, Laura & Cambini, Carlo, 2019. "Ultra-fast broadband investment and adoption: A survey," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 183-198.
    15. 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.
    16. Gabriel M Ahlfeldt, 2018. "Weights to Address Non-parallel Trends in Panel Difference-in-differences Models," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 64(2), pages 216-240.
    17. Liu, Yu-Hsin & Prince, Jeffrey & Wallsten, Scott, 2018. "Distinguishing bandwidth and latency in households’ willingness-to-pay for broadband internet speed," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-15.
    18. Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Leiponen, Aija, 2016. "Crowdsourcing mobile coverage," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 532-544.
    19. Koutroumpis, Pantelis, 2019. "The economic impact of broadband: Evidence from OECD countries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    internet; property prices; capitalization; digital speed; universal access to broadband;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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