IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp0526.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Give PCs a Chance: Personal Computer Ownership and the Digital Divide in the United States and Great Britain

Author

Listed:
  • John Schmitt
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

Abstract

This paper summarizes inequalities in PC ownership using data from the US Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) and the British General Household Survey (GHS) for the period 1984-98. Between 1988 and 1994, British households were more likely than US households to own a personal computer (PC). After 1994, however, US PC ownership rates accelerated rapidly, pushing the United States ahead of Britain. Differences in computer ownership rates are however much larger within the two countries, measured by income, education, age, family status, and race. Both the United States and Britain show large and growing inequality in PC ownership over the 1980s and 1990s. Analysis of ownership patterns of four other household consumer durables suggests that there may be significant limitations to relying solely on the market to eradicate PC inequality quickly.

Suggested Citation

  • John Schmitt & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2002. "Give PCs a Chance: Personal Computer Ownership and the Digital Divide in the United States and Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0526, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0526
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/DP0526.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eli Bekman & John Bound & Stephen Machin, 1998. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1245-1279.
    2. John E. DiNardo & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303.
    3. Gandal, Neil & Greenstein, Shane & Salant, David, 1999. "Adoptions and Orphans in the Early Microcomputer Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 87-105, March.
    4. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "The Beveridge Curve, Unemployment and Wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s - Preliminary Version," CEP Discussion Papers dp0502, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Gomulka, Joanna & Stern, Nicholas, 1990. "The Employment of Married Women in the United Kingdom 1970-83," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(226), pages 171-199, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    8. Sue Fernie & Helen Gray, 2002. "Its a Family Affair: the Effect of Union Recognition and Human Resource Management on the Provision of Equal Opportunities in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0525, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    10. Editors : & David Marsden & Hugh Stephenson, 2001. "Labour Law and Social Insurance in the New Economy: A Debate on the Supiot Report," CEP Discussion Papers dp0500, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Christine Greenhalgh, 2002. "Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief - But Who is Who in the Capitalist Economy," Economics Series Working Papers 119, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Tadesse Wodajo & Jean Kimmel, 2013. "Explaining changes in the racial digital divide in the United States from 1997 to 2007," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 483-518, July.
    3. Schmitt, John & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2006. "Is there an impact of household computer ownership on children's educational attainment in Britain?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 659-673, December.
    4. Francesco Venturini, 2005. "How Much Does IT Consumption Matter for Growth? Evidence from National Accounts," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(1), pages 57-110, January-F.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Personal Computers;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

    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:cep:cepdps:dp0526. 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: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP .

    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 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.

    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.