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ICT in developing countries: Are language barriers relevant? Evidence from Paraguay

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  • Grazzi, Matteo
  • Vergara, Sebastián

Abstract

We investigate the role of language barriers on both computer adoption and Internet connection in Paraguay, a country in which about 40% of the population is monolingual in Guaraní, 50% bilingual and 6% monolingual in Spanish. Our empirical results show that the ICT diffusion process is highly heterogeneous, reflecting pre-existing inequalities in other socioeconomic dimensions. Parametric estimations also suggest that the Guaraní language constitutes an important cultural barrier to the ICT diffusion in the country. This situation illustrates the cultural barriers that developing countries may face in using ICT.

Suggested Citation

  • Grazzi, Matteo & Vergara, Sebastián, 2012. "ICT in developing countries: Are language barriers relevant? Evidence from Paraguay," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 161-171.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:24:y:2012:i:2:p:161-171
    DOI: 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2011.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ICT; Language barriers; Paraguay; Sample selection;

    JEL classification:

    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models

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