Why the gains from e-commerce are spreading across the country

Here is one reason:

We find that Amazon saves between $0.17 and $0.47 for every 100 mile reduction in the distance of shipping goods worth $30. In the context of its distribution network expansion, this estimate implies that Amazon has reduced its total shipping cost by over 50% and increased its profit margin by between 5 and 14% since 2006. Separately, we demonstrate that prices on Amazon have fallen by approximately 40% over the same period, suggesting that a significant share of the cost savings have been passed on to consumers.

That is from a new NBER working paper by Jean-François Houde, Peter Newberry, and Katja Seim.


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