An integrated approach for assessing national e-commerce performance

Working paper14 Jan 2020

This paper aims to support policy makers and general public to better understand UNCTAD’s Business-to-Consumer index (B2C). While B2C index provides very useful comparison on e-commerce development among countries, further question can be asked on how a country perform given the national resources underpinning e-commerce development.

A methodology called Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is adopted in this paper to capture not only the national e-commerce performance but also the national resources underpinning e-commerce development. Results from the DEA reveal that Singapore is on the performance frontier of e-commerce. More interestingly, some countries such as Mongolia and Viet Nam, which do not rank high according to B2C index, are also on or very close the performance frontier, indicating that these countries are good performers given the resources available to them. However, this also indicates that given the available resources, it would be difficult for these countries to further improve the performance without long term economic and social development.