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Regulation and Internet Use in Developing Countries

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  • Wallsten, Scott
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    Abstract

    Concerns about a worsening "digital divide" between rich and poor countries parallel the hope that information technology (IT) could increase economic growth in developing countries. Little research, however, has explored the role of public policies, and of regulation in particular, in IT growth. I use data from a unique new survey of telecommunications regulators and other sources to measure the effects of regulation on Internet development. Controlling for income and other factors that affect demand, I find that countries requiring formal regulatory approval for Internet service providers (ISPs) to operate have fewer Internet users and hosts than countries that do not require such approval. Moreover, countries that regulate ISP prices have higher Internet access prices than countries without such regulations. These results suggest that developing countries' own regulatory policies can have large impacts on IT penetration.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 501-23

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2005:v:53:i:2:p:501-23

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    Cited by:
    1. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2006. "ICT Use in the Developing World: An Analysis of Differences in Computer and Internet Penetration," NBER Working Papers 12382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Andonova, Veneta & Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2009. "Political institutions and telecommunications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 77-83, May.
    3. Clarke, George R.G., 2008. "Has the internet increased exports for firms from low and middle-income countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 16-37, March.
    4. Meena Chary, 2007. "Public Organizations in the Age of Globalization and Technology," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 181-189, June.
    5. Andres, Luis & Cuberes, David & Diouf, Mame Astou & Serebrisky, Tomas, 2007. "Diffusion of the internet : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4420, The World Bank.
    6. Howard, Philip N. & Mazaheri, Nimah, 2009. "Telecommunications Reform, Internet Use and Mobile Phone Adoption in the Developing World," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1159-1169, July.
    7. Clarke, George & Li, Yue & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2013. "Business environment, economic agglomeration and job creation around the world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6706, The World Bank.
    8. Nebibe Varol & Joan Costa-i-Font & Alistair McGuire, 2011. "Explaining Early Adoption on New Medicines: Regulation, Innovation and Scale," CESifo Working Paper Series 3459, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Cuberes, David, 2008. "The Diffusion of Internet: A Cross-Country Analysis," MPRA Paper 8433, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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