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Internet Kiosks in Rural India: What Influences Success?

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  • Kendall, Jake
  • Singh, Nirvikar

Abstract

In this paper we investigate an example of a very widely applied model for the delivery of IT services to rural and poor populations. The model is one where limited intervention to support infrastructure and coordinate resources is combined with market-based delivery of IT services to the end user (what we call here the “sustainable franchise model”). Though this model has been deployed world-wide by governments, NGOs, and development institutions in the past few years, there has been little research into the determinants of success in such a model. In this paper we examine the example of n-Logue, a franchise of over 1000 locally-owned, Internet kiosks in rural villages in India. We seek to assess how this new sustainable franchise model has worked in practice by analyzing data from 74 of n-Logue’s kiosks. Among other things, we find that gender and education do not affect success, while location and other measures of social standing (age and caste) do. We also find that the uses that villagers have for IT services are not so different from those which first world users have. The lessons we draw from this example are that while local customs and practices must be taken into account (e.g. the caste system), it is not a foregone conclusion that social biases (e.g. against women) cannot be mitigated by good program design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1566.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1566

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Keywords: Internet; rural development; entrepreneurship; India; information technology;

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  1. Martin N. Baily, 2004. "Recent productivity growth: the role of information technology and other innovations," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 35-42.
  2. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
  3. Sanjeev Dewan & Kenneth L. Kraemer, 2000. "Information Technology and Productivity: Evidence from Country-Level Data," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 548-562, April.
  4. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2007. "Information Technology and the G7 Economies," NBER Chapters, in: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches, pages 325-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brynjolfsson, Erik & Hitt, Lorin M., 2004. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," Working papers 4210-01, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "What's driving the new economy? The benefits of workplace innovation," Staff Reports 118, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," NBER Working Papers 7833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Romer, Paul, 1994. "New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Jake Kendall & Nirvikar Singh & Kristin Williams & Yan Zhou & P.D. Kaushik, 2007. "Network Economics and the Digital Divide in Rural South Asia," Working Papers 07-30, NET Institute, revised Sep 2007.
  2. Kendall, Jake, 2012. "Local financial development and growth," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1548-1562.
  3. Singh, Nirvikar, 2006. "ICTs and Rural Development in India," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8j01m41b, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.

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