How Online Commerce Can Help Fight Inequality
Inequalities between citizens of the same country are becoming a greater political concern. Although income inequality between countries has dropped over the last two decades, discrepancies between regions and cities within countries have increased. This is alarming. But it’s not the full picture. Technology is empowering entrepreneurs in more disadvantaged areas, in ways the traditional economy cannot.
eBay’s Public Policy Lab has studied the geographical distribution of net enterprise growth in the US, UK and Germany. It found that eBay supports business growth in places that the traditional economy does not serve very well. In disadvantaged regions, online platform connectivity can be a source of income and opportunity, where there might otherwise be none.
Between 2010 to 2014, only 41% of US counties saw an increase in the number of traditional business establishments, according to the EIG. But nearly 75% of counties saw a net in their number of eBay-enabled firms (commercial sellers with at least 10 transactions worth a total of $10,000 annually). Similar results held true in the UK and Germany.