What Are the Economic Effects of Municipal Broadband?
24 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2019
Sarah Oh <https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1233111>
Technology Policy Institute
Date Written: July 26, 2019
Does municipal broadband stimulate broadband adoption or employment growth?
I conduct an empirical study of American towns that have built municipal
networks to answer this question. Using data from the FCC’s Form 477 and
the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, I track broadband
deployment, adoption, and employment statistics for these towns from 2013
to 2017. A town’s decision to install a municipal network in the first
place is not random, however. To deal with selection effects, I apply
Coarsened Exact Matching to ordinary least squares regression to compare
results from the treatment group with a weighted control group of similar
towns. I also apply two-stage least squares regression with instrumental
variable analysis to deal with endogeneity in the decision to build. I do
not find evidence that municipal broadband yields benefits in broadband
subscription rates or employment growth.
Keywords: broadband deployment, broadband adoption, municipal broadband
JEL Classification: L96
Oh, Sarah, What Are the Economic Effects of Municipal Broadband? (July 26,
2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3426247
IEEE Toronto SIGHT Chair