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Off-farm work, smartphone use and household income: Evidence from rural China

Wanglin Ma, Alan Renwick, Peng Nie (), Jianjun Tang () and Rong Cai

China Economic Review, 2018, vol. 52, issue C, 80-94

Abstract: In theory, off-farm work, by raising household incomes, can have a direct impact on smartphone use among rural residents and the use of these smartphones in turn enhances incomes by facilitating online financial transactions, easing management tasks, strengthening social networks, providing technical services, and reducing exposure to risks. In light of this, this paper assesses the impact of participation in off-farm work on smartphone use, using an endogenous switching probit model and a survey of 493 rural households in China. The joint impacts of off-farm work participation and smartphone use on household income are also analyzed using a control function method. The results show that participation in off-farm work increases the probability of smartphone use significantly. Furthermore, we find that the household heads who engaged in off-farm activities and who were smartphone users earned 3430 Yuan and 2643 Yuan more per capita annual income, respectively, compared to their full-time farming and smartphone-free counterparts.

Keywords: Off-farm work; Smartphone use; Household income; Endogenous switching probit; Control function method (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 J22 I31 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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