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Dr. Joanna Ganning Publishes “The Online Marketplace: Zero-Order City or New Source of Social Inequality?”

Dr. Joanna P. Ganning, Associate Dean for Faculty Research, Development, and Administration, Associate Professor, and Master of Urban Planning and Development Program Director at Levin, and co-author Timothy Green of Clemson University, have published an article, “The Online Marketplace: Zero-Order City or New Source of Social Inequality?” in Growth and Change. According to the abstract, online shopping revenues in the United States were $520 billion in 2018, a more than threefold increase over a decade prior, and recent research on county-level shares of consumer expenditures conducted online shows aggregate consumer gains but also considerable spatial variation, creating a new source of social inequality. Through the lens of classical retail location theory, this paper uses a novel approach to test the effects of marginalization, by both income and remoteness, on online shopping behavior. The authors find that increased shipping costs weaken demand for online goods across consumer groups, and in sum, online shopping benefits consumers living in counties marginalized by either remoteness or low income but not both.