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Digital Inequality In East Asia : Evidence From Japan, South Korea And Singapore

I examine the extent and causes of digital inequality in the three countries of East Asia – Japan, South Korea and Singapore. I take advantage of individual-level microdata collected in the three countries between 1997 and 2000, and highlight differences in the socio-economic and demographic patterns of technology adoption, usage, and skills across countries and over time. Despite the high overall diffusion rates of information communication technologies (ICT) in all three countries, there remains a clear divide in access and use between various demographic groups. I find that household income, education and gender are the key determinants of digital inequality in all three countries, but there is sizeable variation in their magnitudes. In general, I find that inequality in ICT access, use and skills reflects pre-existing inequality in other areas of economy and society in the three countries.

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Paper provided by The European Institute of Japanese Studies in its series EIJS Working Paper Series with number 219.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 27 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Asian Economic Papers, 2005, pages 116-139.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:eijswp:0219
Contact details of provider: Postal: The European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-7369360
Fax: +46-8-313017
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/en/Research/Institutes/EIJS/
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  1. Chinn, Menzie D. & Fairlie, Robert W., 2004. "The Determinants of the Global Digital Divide: A Cross-Country Analysis of Computer and Internet Penetration," IZA Discussion Papers 1305, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. Robin Mansell, 2001. "Digital Opportunities and the Missing Link for Developing Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 282-295, Summer.
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  7. Hiroshi Ono & Madeline Zavodny, 2002. "Gender and the Internet," Working Paper 2002-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Black, Sandra E & Lynch, Lisa M, 1996. "Human-Capital Investments and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 263-67, May.
  9. Hargittai, Eszter, 1999. "Weaving the Western Web: explaining differences in Internet connectivity among OECD countries," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(10-11), pages 701-718, November.
  10. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Robin Mansell, 2001. "Digital opportunities and the missing link for developing countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19033, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Oecd, 2001. "Understanding the Digital Divide," OECD Digital Economy Papers 49, OECD Publishing.
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