University of Kentucky

Project Description

New Silk Roads: Promises and Perils of the Internet in the Thai Silk Industry

Project Abstract

The Internet is often touted as a panacea for perceived deficiencies in economic development. Its space-transcending abilities, which can instantly connect producers with consumers, have the potential to cut out intermediaries and to redistribute economic surplus in a more equitable manner. This paper asks whether the promises of the Internet are being realized in the context of development programs in the Thai silk industry. Using interviews and surveys with producers and sellers of silk in the Isaan region of Thailand, this paper examines: the characteristics of people and firms using the Internet in the Thai silk industry, the effects that the Internet is having on the organization of silk commodity chains, and the economic beneficiaries of such changes.

Surveys released for this project:
Silk 104
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