Connecting the Countryside via E-Commerce: Evidence from China
This paper estimates the impact of the first nation-wide e-commerce expansion program on rural households. To do so, we combine a randomized control trial with new survey and administrative microdata. In contrast to existing case studies, we find little evidence for income gains to rural producers and workers. Instead, the gains are driven by a reduction in cost of living for a minority of rural households who tend to be younger, richer and in more remote markets. These effects are mainly due to overcoming logistical barriers to e-commerce, rather than to additional investments to adapt e-commerce to the rural population.
Victor Couture & Benjamin Faber & Yizhen Gu & Lizhi Liu, 2021. "Connecting the Countryside via E-Commerce: Evidence from China," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 35-50, March. citation courtesy of