NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Yoon J. Jo

Department of Economics
Texas A&M University
4228 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Texas A&M University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2019The Impact of E-Commerce on Relative Prices and Consumer Welfare
with Misaki Matsumura, David E. Weinstein: w26506
This paper examines the impact of e-commerce on pricing behavior and welfare. Using Japanese data, we find that the entry of e-commerce firms significantly raised the rate of intercity price convergence for goods sold intensively online, but not for other goods. E-commerce also lowered relative inflation rates for goods sold intensively online. We overcome data challenges using long data series and historical catalog sales as an instrument for e-commerce sales intensity. We estimate that reductions in price dispersion raised welfare by 0.3 percent. E-commerce also lowered variety-adjusted prices on average by 0.9 percent, and more in cities with highly educated populations.
 
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