Great and Small Walls of China: Distance & Chinese E-Commerce
28 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2015
Date Written: September 30, 2015
Alibaba’s Taobao is China’s dominant C2C e-commerce platform. Relying on novel transaction level data from its electronics category, this paper examines the roles of distance as well as seller and buyer experience in Chinese e-commerce. Our estimate of a gravity model shows that the distance elasticity in our data is greater than US C2C e-commerce but smaller than that of South America. In addition, we document greater home bias in China than either of the US or South American Settings. Moreover, by estimating a ‘new-new’ trade model using seller-level transaction data, this paper studies the link between seller experience and distance. Our results show that more experienced sellers tend to sell more and export their goods farther into the marketplace.
Keywords: e-commmerce; China, gravity; distance; domestic trade; Internet marketing
JEL Classification: F10, F14, L86
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