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Pragmatic fragility: Do information technologies lessen or adapt to the structural deficiencies of developing countries?

Author

Listed:
  • Carlos Ferrán

    () (Pennsylvania State University, United State American)

  • Ricardo Salim

    () (Software de Venezuela, S. A.)

Abstract

Modern information technologies (it) can increase the digital divide between countries. Using information theory this article distinguishes between semantic and pragmatic information showing how it can increase or decrease the digital divide. Semantic information (like email) interacts primarily with information while pragmatic information (like e-business) interacts with material-energetic processes –production, transport, customs, etc. However, these processes require solid infrastructure and superstructure –already developed during the industrialization stage– which are still very fragile in most developing countries. This fragility in the pragmatic dimension of information (pragmatic fragility) directly affects how much developing countries can leverage these technologies in comparison with developed ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Ferrán & Ricardo Salim, 2008. "Pragmatic fragility: Do information technologies lessen or adapt to the structural deficiencies of developing countries?," Economía, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (IIES). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales. Universidad de Los Andes. Mérida, Venezuela, vol. 33(25), pages 13-45, january-j.
  • Handle: RePEc:ula:econom:v:33:y:2008:i:25:p:13-45
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Griffin, Keith & Khan, Azizur Rahman, 1978. "Poverty in the third world: Ugly facts and fancy models," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 295-304, March.
    2. M. Lynne Markus & Daniel Robey, 1988. "Information Technology and Organizational Change: Causal Structure in Theory and Research," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(5), pages 583-598, May.
    3. Jalava, Jukka & Pohjola, Matti, 2002. "Economic growth in the New Economy: evidence from advanced economies," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 189-210, June.
    4. Guillén, Mauro F. & Suárez, Sandra L., 2001. "Developing the Internet: entrepreneurship and public policy in Ireland, Singapore, Argentina, and Spain," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 349-371, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information technologies; digital divide; information theory; infrastructure; underdevelopment.;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • M15 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - IT Management
    • N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative

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