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Understanding the Non-Metropolitan-Metropolitan Digital Divide

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  • Bradford F. Mills
  • Brian E. Whitacre

Abstract

Abstract A consistent gap exists between home Internet use in metropolitan areas and in non-metropolitan areas in the U.S. This digital divide may stem from technology differences in home Internet connectivity. Alternatively, differences in education, income, and other household attributes may explain differences in metropolitan and non-metropolitan area home Internet access. Effective programs to reduce the metropolitan-non-metropolitan digital divide must be based on an understanding of the relative roles that technology and household characteristics play in determining differential Internet usage. The household Internet adoption decision is modeled using a logit estimation approach with data from the 2001 U.S. Current Population Survey Internet and Computer Use Supplement. A decomposition of separate metropolitan and non-metropolitan area estimates shows that differences in household attributes, particularly education and income, account for 63 percent of the current metropolitan-non-metropolitan digital divide. The result raises significant doubts that policies which focus solely on infrastructure and technology access will mitigate the current metropolitan-non-metropolitan digital divide. Copyright 2003 Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky..

Suggested Citation

  • Bradford F. Mills & Brian E. Whitacre, 2003. "Understanding the Non-Metropolitan-Metropolitan Digital Divide," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 219-243.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:34:y:2003:i:2:p:219-243
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Todd M. Gabe & Jaison R. Abel, 2002. "Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Infrastructure in Rural America: Measuring the Digital Divide," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1246-1252.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rotem-Mindali, Orit, 2010. "E-tail versus retail: The effects on shopping related travel empirical evidence from Israel," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 312-322, September.
    2. Yook, Seungyun & Jung, Yumi, 2012. "What drives individuals to access the internet mostly using a cell phone?," 19th ITS Biennial Conference, Bangkok 2012: Moving Forward with Future Technologies - Opening a Platform for All 72535, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    3. Brian Whitacre, 2010. "The market and infrastructure perspective: reply," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1), pages 239-243, August.
    4. Schleife, Katrin, 2006. "Regional versus individual aspects of the digital divide in Germany," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 177, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
    5. Brian Whitacre, 2008. "Factors influencing the temporal diffusion of broadband adoption: evidence from Oklahoma," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 42(3), pages 661-679, September.
    6. Renkow, Mitch, 2011. "Residential Broadband Availability: Evidence from Kentucky and North Carolina," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 1-13, August.
    7. Anthony G. Murray & Bradford F. Mills, 2014. "The Impact Of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Participation On Household Energy Insecurity," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 811-825, October.
    8. Ritu Agarwal & Animesh Animesh & Kislaya Prasad, 2009. "Research Note---Social Interactions and the “Digital Divide”: Explaining Variations in Internet Use," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 20(2), pages 277-294, June.
    9. Punj, Girish, 2012. "Income effects on relative importance of two online purchase goals: Saving time versus saving money?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 634-640.
    10. Elizabeth A. Mack, 2015. "Variations in the Broadband-Business Connection across the Urban Hierarchy," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 400-423, September.
    11. Schleife, Katrin, 2006. "Regional versus individual aspects of the digital divide in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-085, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Lucia Piscitello & Cristina Rossi, 2007. "Explaining the Territorial Adoption of New Technologies: A Spatial Econometric Approach," Chapters,in: Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Schleife, Katrin, 2008. "Regional Versus Individual Aspects of the Digital Divide in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-085 [rev.2], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    14. Grubesic, Tony H., 2006. "A spatial taxonomy of broadband regions in the United States," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 423-448, November.
    15. Schleife, Katrin, 2010. "What really matters: Regional versus individual determinants of the digital divide in Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 173-185, February.
    16. Pichitkul, Araya & Mitomo, Hitoshi, 2012. "Demand for internet: Empirical comparison between urban and rural subscribers in Thailand," 19th ITS Biennial Conference, Bangkok 2012: Moving Forward with Future Technologies - Opening a Platform for All 72505, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    17. BEN YOUSSEF, Adel & METHAMEM, Raouchen & M'HENNI, Hatem, 2009. "Disparités régionales et diffusion des TIC en Tunisie
      [Regional disparities and ICTs diffusion in Tunisia]
      ," MPRA Paper 17938, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
    18. Margarita Billon & Roberto Ezcurra & Fernando Lera-Lãpez, 2009. "Spatial Effects in Website Adoption by Firms in European Regions," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 54-84.
    19. Ventura, Eva & Satorra, Albert, 2015. "A multiple indicator model for panel data: an application to ICT area-level variation," 26th European Regional ITS Conference, Madrid 2015 127191, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    20. Schleife, Katrin, 2007. "Regional Versus Individual Aspects of the Digital Divide in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-085 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    21. Chris Forman, 2013. "How has information technology use shaped the geography of economic activity?," Chapters,in: Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography, chapter 10, pages 253-270 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Eva Ventura & Albert Satorra, 2014. "A multiple indicator model for panel data: an application to ICT area-level variation," Economics Working Papers 1419, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    23. Whitacre, Brian E. & Mills, Bradford F., 2006. "A Need for Speed? Rural Internet Connectivity and the No access / Dial-up / High-speed Decision," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21272, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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