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Abstract

This paper strives to contribute three things to the literature. The first is a line-sketch theory model that puts consumers into the value chain. It emphasizes the value-creating aspect of superior matching between consumers preferences and the varieties when they can purchase online (and thus have access to a broader range of varieties than is available locally). We indirectly test this by estimating the impact that AliExpress has on exports. AliExpress data is unique in that only Chinese firms can sell and only non-Chinese can buy on the platform. Third, we provide evidence that the introduction of such platforms can support export of domestic value added.

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