As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Geneva Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Jie Bai, Assistant Professor in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. We are pleased to host this talk in collaboration with the Geneva Trade and Development Workshop.
She will present her work titled Stand Out from the Millions: Market Congestion and Information Friction on Global E-Commerce Platforms, joint with Maggie Chen, Jin Liu, Xiaosheng Mu and Daniel Yi Xu.
Abstract: We investigate how market congestion and information friction affect firm dynamics and market efficiency in global e-commerce. Observational data and self-collected quality measures from AliExpress suggest significant demand frictions and potential misallocation in the online market. A randomized experiment that offers new exporters exogenous demand and information shocks demonstrates the limited ability of existing platform mechanisms to help small sellers overcome the demand frictions. We show theoretically and quantitatively that having a large number of market participants undermines the functioning of existing online mechanisms and hinders the discovery of high-quality sellers. Policy counterfactuals highlight that blanket-wide onboarding initiatives can aggravate market congestion, slow down the resolution of the information problem, and result in market misallocation.
About the speaker
Jie Bai is an Assistant Professor in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2016, and spent one year at Microsoft Research New England prior to joining HKS. Her research is at the intersection between development, IO and trade, focusing on information frictions and quality issues as well as other institutional barriers that hinder firm growth.