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A social welfare estimation of ride-sharing in China: evidence from transaction data analysis of a large online platform

Abstract

This paper estimates the social welfare effect of China’s largest online ride-sharing platform. Under the plausible assumption that consumers would change from traditional transportation to online ride-sharing when the marginal benefit of saved time outgrows the additional cost, we calculate the distribution of implied wage rate of passengers. We then use the passenger wage rate to calculate the social welfare generated by the decrease in waiting time and the reduction of waiting uncertainty brought about by the ride-sharing platform. Our estimate suggests that the ride-sharing platform created a total of 130.5 billion Yuan of social welfare in the three years between 2016 and 2018, and the consumer surplus and producer surplus created by an average transaction are 5.4 Yuan and 2.5 Yuan, respectively. The robustness test finds that our results were insensitive to the assumed risk aversion coefficient in the model, the subsample number used for each city, and the inclusion of nonlinear terms in the model. Alternative hypotheses, such as learning effect, seem unable to explain our result.


First published online 02 February 2022

Keyword : social welfare, online ride-sharing platform, regulation

How to Cite
Wang, B., Shao, Y., & Miao, M. (2022). A social welfare estimation of ride-sharing in China: evidence from transaction data analysis of a large online platform. Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 28(2), 419–441. https://doi.org/10.3846/tede.2022.16284
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Feb 23, 2022
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