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B2B e-commerce marketplaces and MSMES: Evidence of global value chain facilitation?

Maxime Ladrière, Kathryn Lundquist and Qing Ye

No ERSD-2022-7, WTO Staff Working Papers from World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division

Abstract: In theory, e-commerce marketplaces connect buyers and sellers, open trade opportunities, and reduce transaction costs thereby creating opportunities for more inclusive trade and even GVC participation, especially for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Further, there is some evidence that MSMEs are more likely to use e-commerce marketplaces than large firms given these websites reduce search frictions and transaction costs, which can be relatively more beneficial for smaller firms. This discussion paper explores non-traditional data to investigate whether e-commerce marketplaces may contribute to MSME GVC participation. By looking at the development of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce marketplaces, the gross merchandise value (GMV) of regional e-commerce marketplaces, and MSMEs' overall participation in B2B e-commerce marketplaces, descriptive statistics are gathered that contributes to the overall discussion on this topic. This discussion paper also links B2B e-commerce marketplaces with GVC facilitation through a novel approach of cataloguing these platforms' merchandise and finds that on average, roughly one third of B2B e-commerce marketplace listings are intermediate goods.

Keywords: Micro; Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (MSME); SME; e-commerce; marketplaces; global value chains (GVC) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F13 L81 O30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-int and nep-sbm
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