Government officials in more than half of the poverty-stricken counties in China have recently helped sell local specialty products through e-commerce live streaming platforms. Yet it is little understood if such practice reduces poverty and boosts the local economy by encouraging local entrepreneurship. We conduct an empirical investigation and find that government officials’ participation in e-commerce live streaming is associated with an increase in the online presence of local special products and stores, a manifestation of rising entrepreneurship and shaking off poverty. In addition, the effects of government officials’ participation in live streaming are more pronounced in economically and technologically under-developed areas, suggesting that they help mitigate inequality. Our findings contribute to the intersection of ICT for development, poverty alleviation, and entrepreneurship and highlight the value of a public-private partnership that integrates government participation (the top-down approach) and market behaviors (the bottom-up approach) in poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship.
Li, Xiaoye; Wang, Jiancheng; Cheng, Aaron; and Fang, Qian, "E-COMMERCE LIVE STREAMING AND LOCAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS’ PARTICIPATION" (2023). ECIS 2023 Research-in-Progress Papers. 80.