Professor Mao Qilin: How Does Internet Affect Chinese Manufacturing Employment?

(Correspondent: Zhong Yiming) The paper “How Does Internet Affect Chinese Manufacturing Employment?” co-authored by Professor Mao Qilin of our school has been published in China Economic Quarterly, Volume No.23, 4th issue of 2023, and was selected as the cover paper.

This paper investigates the impacts and mechanisms of Internet development on manufacturing employment by adopting the difference-in-difference method and find that internet development has significantly promoted Chinese manufacturing employment. From the perspective of mechanisms, the paper finds that internet development promotes manufacturing employment through scale effect and reinstatement effect. However, it will reduce manufacturing employment, especially the employment of low skilled labor through displacement effect. Further test shows that compared with dismissal decision, firms' hiring decision is more important for internet development affecting manufacturing employment. The findings provide a new perspective and micro evidence for understanding the changes of manufacturing employment in China in recent years, and also enriches the research on evaluating the economic effect of internet development to a certain extent.