The impact of information and communication technologies on farm households in rural China

Wang Wensheng

E commerce and electronic markets in agribusiness and supply chains Proceedings of the 75th Seminar of the European Association of Agricultural Economists EAAE Bonn, Germany, 14-16 February 2001: 121-141


Accession: 003974328

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Recognizing the significant impact of the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on farm households in rural China, the paper reviews conceptual studies on ICTs in social and economic terms. A case study on the impact of residential telephone subscription complements the previous analysis. The sample data contains 22 000 farm households in the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, and Sichuan and covers the period between 1995 and 1997. In the case study, the author first models and estimates the determinants of residential telephone subscription for farm households, then studies the economic effects of telephone subscription on farm households, including the effects on changes in annual net income and shifts of sideline business types. The research results prove that ICTs including telephone and Internet access have significant positive impacts on farm households in various economic and social aspects, such as industrial pattern, market expansion, improvement of education and health care. Furthermore, the case study concludes that farm household income, education level of household head, number of members with professional title and sideline business types are substantial determinants of telephone ownership. On the other hand, residential telephone subscription has a positive effect on changes in annual net income, but it is not statistically significant. The result also shows there is no relationship between telephone subscription and shift of sideline business types of farm households.