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From upgrade to uptake: The effect of mobile internet infrastructure on usage of local online services

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  • Mang, Constantin

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that superior mobile Internet infrastructure increases take-up of location-based online services. Using data from the largest German online platform for restaurant reviews, I find that upgrading the 2G network to 3G increases the number of restaurant reviews and the share of reviews written on smartphones. To identify the causal effect of the network upgrade, I exploit the geographic location of restaurants relative to cellular network antennas and the terrain around them. Since the 3G signal is much more dependent on a clear line-of-sight than the 2G signal, some restaurants that were previously well covered by 2G are blocked from 3G reception due to geographic obstacles such as hills and forests.

Suggested Citation

  • Mang, Constantin, 2013. "From upgrade to uptake: The effect of mobile internet infrastructure on usage of local online services," 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 88511, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse13:88511
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lars-Hendrik Roller & Leonard Waverman, 2001. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 909-923, September.
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    3. Klonner, Stefan & Nolen, Patrick J., 2010. "Cell Phones and Rural Labor Markets: Evidence from South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 56, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    4. John G. Fernald, 1999. "Roads to Prosperity? Assessing the Link between Public Capital and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 619-638, June.
    5. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Qian, Nancy, 2012. "On the Road: Access to Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Growth in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 8874, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221.
    7. Michael Anderson & Jeremy Magruder, 2012. "Learning from the Crowd: Regression Discontinuity Estimates of the Effects of an Online Review Database," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 957-989, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobile Internet; infrastructure upgrade; broadband;

    JEL classification:

    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures

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