IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/oxecpp/v59y2007i1p16-44.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The determinants of the global digital divide: a cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration

Author

Listed:
  • Menzie D. Chinn
  • Robert W. Fairlie

Abstract

To identify the determinants of cross-country disparities in personal computer and internet penetration, we examine a panel of 161 countries over the 1999--2001 period. Our candidate variables include economic variables (income per capita, years of schooling, illiteracy, trade openness), demographic variables (youth and aged dependency ratios, urbanization rate), infrastructure indicators (telephone density, electricity consumption), telecommunications pricing measures, and regulatory quality. With the exception of trade openness and the telecom pricing measures, these variables enter in as statistically significant in most specifications for computer use. A similar pattern holds true for internet use, except that telephone density and aged dependency matter less. The global digital divide is mainly--but by no means entirely--accounted for by income differentials. For computers, telephone density and regulatory quality are of second and third importance, while for the Internet, this ordering is reversed. The region-specific explanations for large disparities in computer and Internet penetration are generally very similar. Our results suggest that public investment in human capital, telecommunications infrastructure, and the regulatory infrastructure may mitigate the gap in PC and Internet use. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2007. "The determinants of the global digital divide: a cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 16-44, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:59:y:2007:i:1:p:16-44
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpl024
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2004. "Geography and the Internet: is the Internet a substitute or a complement for cities?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-24, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Jonathan Temple, 2003. "Growth effects of education and social capital in the OECD countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(2), pages 57-101.
    4. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    5. Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence from Microdata, 1984–1989," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 33-60.
    6. Oecd, 2001. "Understanding the Digital Divide," OECD Digital Economy Papers 49, OECD Publishing.
    7. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure Up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 49-74, Fall.
    8. Antonio Estache & Marco Manacorda & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2002. "Telecommunications Reform, Access Regulation, and Internet Adoption in Latin America," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 153-218, January.
    9. Kiiski, Sampsa & Pohjola, Matti, 2002. "Cross-country diffusion of the Internet," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 297-310, June.
    10. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    11. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
    12. 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.
    13. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
    14. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2003. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996-2002," Macroeconomics 0308006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    16. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    17. Quibria, M. G. & Ahmed, Shamsun N. & Tschang, Ted & Reyes-Macasaquit, Mari-Len, 2003. "Digital divide: determinants and policies with special reference to Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 811-825, January.
    18. Daiji Kawaguchi, 2006. "Are Computers At Home A Form Of Consumption Or An Investment? A Longitudinal Analysis For Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(1), pages 69-86, March.
    19. Hiroshi Ono & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "Gender differences in information technology usage: a U.S.-Japan comparison," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    20. Singh, Vik, 2004. "Factors Associated with Household Internet Use in Canada, 1998-2000," Agriculture and Rural Working Paper Series 28034, Statistics Canada.
    21. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2003. "Government matters III : governance indicators for 1996-2002," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3106, The World Bank.
    22. Antonio Estache & T. Valletti & M. Manacorda, 2002. "Telecoms, Reform, Access Regulation and Internet Adoption in Latin America," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/43982, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    23. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji & Lal, Kaushalesh, 2005. "Internet diffusion in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 507-527, August.
    24. W. Edward STEINMUELLER, 2001. "ICTs and the possibilities for leapfrogging by developing countries," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 140(2), pages 193-210, June.
    25. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
    26. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U. S. Economy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1911, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    27. Temitope Oshikoya & Nureldin Hussain, 1998. "Information Technology and the Challenge of Economic Development in Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 10(1), pages 100-133.
    28. Catherine L. Mann & Sue E. Eckert, 2000. "Global Electronic Commerce: A Policy Primer," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 318, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chinn, Menzie David & Fairlie, Robert W, 2004. "The Determinants of the Global Digital Divide: A cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6hz053p3, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Menzie D. Chinn & Robert W. Fairlie, 2010. "ICT Use in the Developing World: An Analysis of Differences in Computer and Internet Penetration," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 153-167, February.
    3. Feng, Guangchao Charles, 2015. "Determinants of Internet diffusion: A focus on China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 176-185.
    4. Macha Kemperman & Robert Lensink, 2008. "State capture, income and institutional quality," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 423-426.
    5. Richard M. Bird & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2014. "Societal Institutions and Tax Effort in Developing Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(1), pages 301-351, May.
    6. Jan Fagerberg & Martin Srholec, 2005. "Catching up: What are the Critical Factors for success?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20050401, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    7. Fagerberg, Jan & Srholec, Martin & Verspagen, Bart, 2010. "Innovation and Economic Development," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 833-872, Elsevier.
    8. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2009. "Human Capital, the Structure of Production, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 66-82, February.
    9. Yartey, Charles Amo, 2008. "Financial development, the structure of capital markets, and the global digital divide," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 208-227, June.
    10. Andrés, Antonio R. & Amavilah, Voxi & Asongu, Simplice A, 2016. "Linkages between Formal Institutions, ICT Adoption and Inclusive Human Development in Sub Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 75044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Aysan, Ahmet Faruk & Nabli, Mustapha Kamel & Veganzones-Varoudakis, Marie-Ange, 2006. "Governance and private investment in the Middle East and North Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3934, The World Bank.
    12. Szeles, Monica Răileanu, 2018. "New insights from a multilevel approach to the regional digital divide in the European Union," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 452-463.
    13. Gundlach, Erich & Hartmann, Susanne, 2005. "Untangling the quality of governance from the level of income: Are Sub-Saharan African countries governed well?," Kiel Working Papers 1241, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    14. Li, Raymond & Shiu, Alice, 2012. "Internet diffusion in China: A dynamic panel data analysis," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 872-887.
    15. Lederman, Daniel & Saenz, Laura, 2005. "Innovation and development around the world, 1960-2000," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3774, The World Bank.
    16. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & …mer Faruk Baykal & Marie-Ange Véganzonès–Varoudakis, 2011. "The Effects of Convergence in Governance on Capital Accumulation in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Countries," Chapters, in: Mehmet Ugur & David Sunderland (ed.), Does Economic Governance Matter?, chapter 6, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2008. "A Retrospective Look at the U.S. Productivity Growth Resurgence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    18. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Managing Macroeconomic Crises," NBER Working Papers 10907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Charles Amo Yartey, 2006. "Financial Development, the Structure of Capital Markets, and the Global Digital Divide," IMF Working Papers 2006/258, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Cristina JUDE & Grégory LEVIEUGE, 2013. "Growth Effect of FDI in Developing Economies: the Role of Institutional Quality," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2251, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:59:y:2007:i:1:p:16-44. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/oep .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/oep .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.