Network Economics and the Digital Divide in Rural India
AbstractThe idea of a ‘global digital divide’ is well accepted, and cross-country studies of determinants of differences in computer and Internet penetration have identified income, telecommunications infrastructure, and regulatory quality as key influencing factors. The policy implications from these studies are relatively blunt: get richer, have more telephones, and regulate telecommunications better. In this paper, we examine an alternative policy approach to bridging the digital divide, through organizational innovations that provide low cost Internet access in developing countries, within the existing levels of income, telecommunications infrastructure and regulatory environment. We use survey data from 500 individuals in four states of India: Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, to examine factors influencing patterns of computer and Internet use. The situations in which data was collected were ones where computer and Internet access was being provided by a developmental agency (government or non-government). We estimate logit and multinomial logit models, using explanatory variables such as income, household size, education, and occupation, as well as infrastructure factors such as quality of electricity supply, and availability of telephones and televisions. Thus we are able to go beyond simple analyses of penetration at the country level, to understand the microeconomics of computer and Internet use in rural India. In particular, by examining patterns of use, we are able to comment on the importance of network externalities for diffusion of computers and the Internet in these local rural contexts.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 07-29.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision: Sep 2007
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/
IT; ITC; Internet; India; Development; Digital Divide;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2007-10-27 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2007-10-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-NET-2007-10-27 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2007-10-27 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999.
"Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nicholas Economides).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.