Seminar: E-commerce Expands the Bandwidth of Entrepreneurship

Xiaobo Zhang is a Professor of Economics at the National School of Development, Peking University (PKU). He is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Guangbiao visiting professor at Zhejiang University.

Professor Zhang’s research areas/interests include Development Economics, Agricultural Economics and Chinese Economy.

Abstract: Social networks are cornerstones of personal trade in developing countries. However, it is costly to build and maintain social networks. The high cost imposes an entry barrier for people who lack social networks, such as those from outside local communities. E-commerce offers a way for them to circumvent this problem. The timely payment of e-commerce reduces their reliance on network-based trade credit that is prevalent in traditional trades, easing their need for social networks. Using the administrative universe firm registry dataset in China, we show that the spread of e-commerce has enabled more people to become entrepreneurs.


Location: 401 Warren Hall