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

  • Mang, Constantin

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.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/88511/1/774082259.pdf
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Paper provided by International Telecommunications Society (ITS) in its series 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 with number 88511.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse13:88511
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.itseurope.org/

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  1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  2. 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.
  3. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Nancy Qian, 2012. "On the Road: Access to Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Growth in China," NBER Working Papers 17897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, 09.
  6. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221, February.
  7. John Fernald, 1997. "Roads to prosperity? assessing the link between public capital and productivity," International Finance Discussion Papers 592, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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