Rural E-Commerce Service Points, Trade Costs, and Online Household Consumption
- WANG Qi, LI Han, ZHAO Guochang & NIU Geng
- WANG Qi (Sichuan University, 610065)LI Han, ZHAO Guochang, NIU Geng (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, 611130)
Rural areas have strong consumption potential and are an important part of cultivating a complete domestic demand system, promoting comprehensive consumption as well as building a strong domestic market. This paper investigates the impact of village-level e-commerce service points on online household consumption by matching the number of e-commerce service points in administrative villages with household consumption data Using the policy shock brought by the project of building “demonstration counties in promoting e-commerce in rural areas” launched jointly by the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance, and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development in 2014 as an instrumental variable, the study finds that the increase of one village-level e-commerce service increases per capita online household consumption by 41.23% on average, accounting for 36.81% of the mean value of the logarithm of per capita online household consumption, indicating a significant economic effect. The heterogeneity analysis found that the positive effect of e-commerce service points on online consumption was greater in administrative villages with lower human capital and higher trade costs, which indicates that the construction of e-commerce service points helps reduce transaction barriers and trade costs, and shortens the distance between rural residents and markets. Further analysis reveals that e-commerce service points significantly diversify online household consumption, increase the frequency of online consumption, and do not crowd out traditional consumption. This paper shows that e-commerce service points have important policy implications for overcoming barriers to rural use of digital technology, reducing urban-rural spatial inequality in consumption, and building a strong domestic market.
- Rural E-Commerce Service Points, Online Household Consumption, Transaction Barriers, Trade Costs