ORF Occasional Paper on “Exports and e-commerce in India”, by Vikash Gautam, Lead Economist for Koan Advisory, Oct 27

This paper attempts to make a contribution in the context of the recent push in making India an e-empowered economy for promoting exports. The study stems from the premise that exports respond significantly to the costs associated with breaking into foreign markets and sustaining in those markets, whereas e-commerce offers a ready platform to minimise such costs. The empirical exercise focuses on export decision and export intensity, after adjusting for self-selection in exporting, to establish their responsiveness to e-commerce treatment. The possibility to choose the treatment in a purely non-random manner prompts the use of an endogenous treatment-effects regression model. Using a sample of 2,191 manufacturing firms in the period 2010-16, the results show that, on average, firms adopting e-commerce are 21.8 percent more likely to be exporters, and their intensity of export is likely to increase by 7.9 percent.