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Broadband Access, Telecommuting and the Urban-Rural Digital Divide

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  • Song, Moohoun
  • Orazem, Peter
  • Singh, Rajesh

Abstract

We investigate the role of broadband access on the probability of telecommuting and whether individuals who work from home receive greater compensation. We also assess whether telecommuting differs between more- and less-densely populated areas. Telecommuting responds positively to local average commuting time and to local access to High-Speed Internet service. Differences in broadband access explain three-fourths of the gap in telecommuting between urban and rural markets. Telecommuters and other IT users do not earn significantly more than otherwise observationally comparable workers. Already highly skilled and highly paid workers are the most likely to telecommute and so they do not earn more because they telecommute. As broadband access improves in rural markets, the urban-rural gap in telecommuting will diminish. The urban-rural pay gap will also decrease if improved broadband access induces some already highly paid urban workers to move to rural areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Song, Moohoun & Orazem, Peter & Singh, Rajesh, 2006. "Broadband Access, Telecommuting and the Urban-Rural Digital Divide," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12495, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12495
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    File URL: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/papers/p3843-2006-02-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    urban; Rural; broadband; telecommuting; earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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