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How to Overcome the Digital Divide? The Determinants of Internet Diffusion

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  • Shchetinin, Oleg
  • Baptiste, Massenot

Abstract

We document the existence and the persistence of the digital divide and investigate the determinants of the Internet diffusion in both developing and developed countries. Our study innovates on the following: i) we use a data set that covers more countries and years than the earlier studies ii) We use the GMM estimator which requires milder assumptions to be consistent than the traditionally used panel data estimators in technology diffusion studies. We find that i) the digital divide is likely to persist over time, ii) the Internet diffusion process is dynamic which makes static estimators inconsistent, iii) Internet adoption starts later but goes faster in developing countries, iv) inflows of the foreign investment and better human capital boost the diffusion of Internet for the developing countries only and v) GDP per capita has a negative impact on Internet diffusion in the developing countries and a positive impact in developed countries. This last finding seems surprising but it is consistent with the conditional convergence hypothesis as well as with the resource curse theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9413.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9413

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Keywords: internet diffusion; digital divide; panel data; GMM;

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  1. 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.
  2. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Kiiski, Sampsa & Pohjola, Matti, 2002. "Cross-country diffusion of the Internet," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 297-310, June.
  4. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman, 2001. "Cross-Country Technology Diffusion: The Case of Computers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 328-335, May.
  5. Dasgupta, Susmita & Lall, Somik & Wheeler, David, 2001. "Policy reform, economic growth, and the digital divide - an econometric analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2567, The World Bank.
  6. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  7. repec:reg:rpubli:343 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Wallsten, Scott, 2003. "Regulation and internet use in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2979, The World Bank.
  9. David Roodman, 2009. "A Note on the Theme of Too Many Instruments," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 135-158, 02.
  10. repec:reg:wpaper:343 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. David Roodman, 2006. "How to Do xtabond2," North American Stata Users' Group Meetings 2006 8, Stata Users Group.
  12. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
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