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Telecommunications externality on migration : evidence from Chinese Villages, Volume 1
Author:Lu, Yi; Xie, Huihua; Xu, Lixin Colin; Country:China;
Date Stored:2013/10/07Document Date:2013/10/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Access to Finance; Population Policies; E-Business; ICT Policy and Strategies; Anthropology
Language:EnglishRegion:East Asia and Pacific
Report Number:WPS6644Collection Title:Impact Evaluation series ; no. IE 105Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 6644
Volume No:1  

Summary: 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.

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