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The Role of Infrastructure in the Rural - Urban Digital Divide


  • Whitacre, Brian E.
  • Mills, Bradford F.


A significant gap exists in the percentage of rural and urban households that connect to the Internet. Furthermore, this "digital divide" has been increasing with respect to high-speed connections. The primary course of action to address this emerging high-speed digital divide has been to subsidize digital communications technology (DCT) infrastructure. This paper explores the diffusion of DCT infrastructure in both rural and urban areas over the period 2000 - 2003, and estimates its contribution to the emerging divide in high-speed access. The findings suggest that the rural - urban high-speed divide is more strongly associated with differences in household characteristics like education and income than differences in infrastructure.

Suggested Citation

  • Whitacre, Brian E. & Mills, Bradford F., 2005. "The Role of Infrastructure in the Rural - Urban Digital Divide," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19352, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19352

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Neumark, 1988. "Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
    2. Strover, Sharon, 2001. "Rural internet connectivity," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 331-347, June.
    3. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    4. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
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