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Pragmatic fragility: Do information technologies lessen or adapt to the structural deficiencies of developing countries?

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  • Carlos Ferrán

    ()
    (Pennsylvania State University, United State American)

  • Ricardo Salim

    ()
    (Software de Venezuela, S. A.)

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    Abstract

    Modern information technologies (it) can increase the digital divide between countries. Using information theory this article distinguishes between semantic and pragmatic information showing how it can increase or decrease the digital divide. Semantic information (like email) interacts primarily with information while pragmatic information (like e-business) interacts with material-energetic processes –production, transport, customs, etc. However, these processes require solid infrastructure and superstructure –already developed during the industrialization stage– which are still very fragile in most developing countries. This fragility in the pragmatic dimension of information (pragmatic fragility) directly affects how much developing countries can leverage these technologies in comparison with developed ones.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (IIES). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales. Universidad de Los Andes. Mérida, Venezuela in its journal Economia.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 25 (january-june)
    Pages: 13-45

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    Handle: RePEc:ula:econom:v:33:y:2008:i:25:p:13-45

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    Postal: Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales. Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales. Campus Universitario Liria, Edificio G, Tercer Nivel. Mérida 5101, Estado Mérida, Venezuela
    Phone: +58 74 401111 ext. 1081
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    Web page: http://iies.faces.ula.ve/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Information technologies; digital divide; information theory; infrastructure; underdevelopment.;

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    1. Guillén, Mauro F. & Suárez, Sandra L., 2001. "Developing the Internet: entrepreneurship and public policy in Ireland, Singapore, Argentina, and Spain," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 349-371, June.
    2. M. Lynne Markus & Daniel Robey, 1988. "Information Technology and Organizational Change: Causal Structure in Theory and Research," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 34(5), pages 583-598, May.
    3. Jalava, Jukka & Pohjola, Matti, 2002. "Economic growth in the New Economy: evidence from advanced economies," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 189-210, June.
    4. Griffin, Keith & Khan, Azizur Rahman, 1978. "Poverty in the third world: Ugly facts and fancy models," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 295-304, March.
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