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E-Commerce Integration and Economic Development: Evidence from China

Author

Listed:
  • Victor Couture

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Benjamin Faber

    (UC Berkeley)

  • Yizhen Gu

    (UC Berkeley)

Abstract

The number of people buying and selling products online in China has grown from practically zero in 2000 to more than 400 million by 2015. Most of this growth has occurred in cities. In this context, the Chinese government recently announced the expansion of e-commerce to the countryside as a policy priority with the objective to close the rural-urban economic divide. As part of this agenda, the government entered a partnership with a large Chinese e-commerce firm. The program invests in the necessary logistics to ship products to and sell products from tens of thousands of villages that were largely unconnected to e-commerce. The firm also installs an e-commerce terminal at a central village location, where a terminal manager assists households in buying and selling products through the firm’s e-commerce platform. This paper combines a new collection of survey and administrative microdata with a randomized control trial (RCT) that we implement across villages in collaboration with the e-commerce firm. We use this empirical setting to provide evidence on the potential of e-commerce integration to foster economic development in the countryside, the underlying channels and the distribution of the gains from e-commerce across households and villages.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Couture & Benjamin Faber & Yizhen Gu, 2018. "E-Commerce Integration and Economic Development: Evidence from China," 2018 Meeting Papers 114, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Atkin & Amit Khandelwal, 2019. "How Distortions Alter the Impacts of International Trade in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 26230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fan, Jingting & Tang, Lixin & Zhu, Weiming & Zou, Ben, 2018. "The Alibaba effect: Spatial consumption inequality and the welfare gains from e-commerce," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 203-220.
    3. Yoon J. Jo & Misaki Matsumura & David E. Weinstein, 2019. "The Impact of E-Commerce on Relative Prices and Consumer Welfare," NBER Working Papers 26506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Wanda Dugiel & Ewa Latoszek, 2018. "Electronic Trade in the World Trade Organization - Difficulties in Negotiating an Agreement?," The International Journal of Economic Behavior - IJEB, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 8(1), pages 133-143.

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