Edwin Fourrier-Nicolaï

Thematic seminars
big data and econometrics seminar

Edwin Fourrier-Nicolaï

Université de Trento
From the Sea to the Field: The Effect of Internet on Agricultural Productivity


Îlot Bernard du Bois

5-9 boulevard Maurice Bourdet
13001 Marseille

Tuesday, June 11 2024| 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Michel Lubrano: michel.lubrano[at]univ-amu.fr
Pierre Michel: pierre.michel[at]univ-amu.fr


This paper investigates empirically the impact of the development of high-speed internet access on agricultural productivity. Leveraging microdata from the Italian agricultural survey (RICA), data on internet coverage and network infrastructures, we investigate the impact of internet access on agricultural productivity in Italy between 2017 and 2021. This is a time span during which high-speed internet access increased substantially in Italy following the launch of the piano strategico banda ultra-larga. In order to disentangle the causal effect from confounding factors, we propose an instrumental variable approach which relies on the internet network and builds on the exogeneity of submarine cables for which the choice of the terrestrial end points relies mainly on topographical factors. Our identification strategy relies on the idea that distance from submarine cables create a variation in the potential speed which in turn affects the incentives to invest in the terrestrial network. Our analysis reveals a positive and statistically significant effect of high-speed internet access on agricultural productivity highlighting the transformative potential of digital technology in enhancing farm efficiency and sustainability.