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Gender differences in information technology usage: a U.S.-Japan comparison

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  • Hiroshi Ono
  • Madeline Zavodny

Abstract

This study examines whether there are differences in men’s and women’s use of computers and the Internet in the United States and Japan and how any such gender gaps have changed over time. The authors focus on these two countries because information technology is widely used in both, but there are substantial differences in institutions and social organizations. They use microdata from several surveys during the 1997–2001 period to examine differences and trends in computer and Internet usage in the two countries. Their results indicate that there were significant gender differences in computer and Internet usage in both countries during the mid-1990s. By 2001, these gender differences had disappeared or were even reversed in the United States but remained in Japan. People not currently working have lower levels of IT use and skills in both countries regardless of gender, but working women in Japan have lower levels of IT use and skills than working men, a difference that generally does not occur in the United States. This finding suggests that employment status per se does not play a large role in the gender gap in Japan, but type of employment does. The prevalence of nonstandard employment among female workers in Japan accounts for much of the gender gap in IT use and skills in that country.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2004-2.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2004-2

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  1. Alan Krueger, 2000. "The Digital Divide in Educating African-American Students and Workers," Working Papers 813, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Ono, Hiroshi, 2004. "Are sons and daughters substitutable?: Allocation of family resources in contemporary Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-160, June.
  3. Susan N. Houseman & Katharine G. Abraham, . "Female Workers as a Buffer in the Japanese Economy," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles snhkga1993, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Hiroshi Ono & Madeline Zavodny, 2002. "Gender and the Internet," Working Paper 2002-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1996. "With What Skills Are Computers a Complement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 258-62, May.
  6. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Conchita D'Ambrosia, 2003. "ICT and Socio-Economic Exclusion," RWI Discussion Papers 0003, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  7. Kevin T. Reilly, 1995. "Human Capital and Information: The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-18.
  8. Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Computer use and the demand for female workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 290-308, January.
  9. Edwards, Linda N., 1994. "The status of women in Japan: Has the equal employment opportunity law made a difference?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 217-240.
  10. Hiroshi Ono & Marcus Rebick, 2003. "Constraints on the Level and Efficient Use of Labor," NBER Chapters, in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 225-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hargittai, Eszter, 1999. "Weaving the Western Web: explaining differences in Internet connectivity among OECD countries," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(10-11), pages 701-718, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Chinn, Menzie David & Fairlie, Robert W, 2004. "The Determinants of the Global Digital Divide: A Cross-Country Analysis of Computer and Internet Penetration," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2r80c4t3, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2010. "ICT Use in the Developing World: An Analysis of Differences in Computer and Internet Penetration," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 153-167, 02.

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