Telecommunications Externality on Migration: Evidence from Chinese Villages
37 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: October 1, 2013
This paper uses a unique natural experiment in Chinese villages to investigate whether access to telecommunications-- in particular, landline phones -- increases the likelihood of outmigration. By using regional and time variations in the installation of landline phones, the difference-in-differences estimation shows that access to landline phones increases the ratio of out-migrant workers by 2 percentage points, or about 50 percent of the sample mean in China. The results remain robust to a battery of validity checks. Furthermore, landline phones affect outmigration through two channels: information access to job opportunities and timely contact with left-behind family members. The findings underscore the positive migration externality of expanding telecommunications access in rural areas, especially in places where migration potential is large.
Keywords: E-Business, Population Policies, Access to Finance, ICT Policy and Strategies, Anthropology
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