NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Yizhen Gu

Institute for Economic and Social Research
Jinan University
Guangzhou
China

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

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Connecting the Countryside via E-Commerce: Evidence from China
with Victor Couture, Benjamin Faber, Lizhi Liu: w24384
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.
 
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