This paper examines the relationship between the large-scale construction of broadband infrastructure and digital financial inclusion in rural China. To make causal inferences, we exploit a quasi-natural experiment and use a difference-in-differences identification strategy with panel dataset of Chinese counties from 2014 to 2018. The results show that broadband infrastructure significantly contributes to digital inclusion. Further, we distinguish between two dimensions of digital inclusion, namely, the coverage and the usage. We find that while broadband infrastructure significantly promotes the coverage dimension, its effect on the usage dimension is limited. Besides, the effects of broadband infrastructure on digital inclusion, and in particular on the usage dimension, are larger in areas with higher levels of human capital, higher levels of social capital, and higher penetrations of bank branches. Taking into account those moderators is important to fully harness the potential of broadband infrastructure on financial inclusion.
Geng Niu ; Qi Wang ; Yang Zhou ; Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Financial Inclusion in Rural China （2022年03月23日）http://www.cfrn.com.cn//lw/xjr/jrkjlw/631d43fc76b14df59c044f2e3fe07d1a.htm