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Does the Internet Kill the Distance? Evidence From Navigation, E-Commerce, and E-Banking

Listed author(s):
  • Guido De Blasio

    ()

By diminishing the cost of performing isolated economic activities in isolated areas, information technology might serve as a substitute for urban agglomeration. This paper assesses this hypothesis by using Italian household level data on internet navigation, e-commerce, and e-banking. Empirically, I find no support for the argument that the internet reduces the role of distance. My results suggest that: (1) Internet navigation is more frequent for urban consumers than their non-urban counterparts. (2) The use of e-commerce is basically not affected by the size of the city where the household lives. Remote consumers are discouraged by the fact that they cannot see the goods before buying them. Leisure activities and cultural items are the only goods and services for which e-commerce is used more intensively in isolated areas. (3) E-banking bears no relationship with city size. In choosing a bank, non-urban customers evaluate personal acquaintances as an important factor more intensively than urban clients. This also depends on the fact that banking account holders in remote areas are more frequently supplied with a loan by their bank.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa06/papers/440.pdf
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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa06p440.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p440
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  1. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2004. "Geography and the Internet: is the Internet a substitute or a complement for cities?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-24, July.
  2. Evanoff, Douglas D, 1988. "Branch Banking and Service Accessibility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 191-202, May.
  3. Waldfogel, Joel, 2003. " Preference Externalities: An Empirical Study of Who Benefits Whom in Differentiated-Product Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 557-568, Autumn.
  4. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
  5. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2005. "Lessons About Markets from the Internet," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 139-158, Spring.
  6. Severin Borenstein & Garth Saloner, 2001. "Economics and Electronic Commerce," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 3-12, Winter.
  7. Emilia Bonaccorsi di Patti & Giorgio Gobbi & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2004. "The interaction between face-to-face and electronic delivery: the case of the Italian banking industry," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 508, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  8. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
  9. Beethika Khan, 2004. "Consumer Adoption of Online Banking: Does Distance Matter?," Development and Comp Systems 0407002, EconWPA.
  10. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
  11. Forman, Chris & Goldfarb, Avi & Greenstein, Shane, 2005. "How did location affect adoption of the commercial Internet? Global village vs. urban leadership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 389-420, November.
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