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Information Inequality and Network Externalities: A Comparative Study of the Diffusion of Television and the Internet

Author

Listed:
  • Paul DiMaggio

    (Princeton University)

  • Joseph Cohen

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper sheds light on whether intergroup inequality in Internet access is likely to persist as the diffusion process continues. To what extent is a given level of inequality in technology diffusion (e.g., use of the Internet) a long-term policy challenge or a temporary inconvenience? What general factors account for group-specific patterns of technology adoption? This paper draws on notions of network externalities to help answer this question. It also presents findings from a comparative analysis of household adoption of television from 1948 to 1957 and the Internet from 1994 to 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul DiMaggio & Joseph Cohen, 2003. "Information Inequality and Network Externalities: A Comparative Study of the Diffusion of Television and the Internet," Working Papers 36, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:cpanda:31
    as

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    File URL: https://culturalpolicy.princeton.edu/sites/culturalpolicy/files/wp31-dimaggio.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Allan Shampine, 2001. "Determinants of the diffusion of U.S. digital telecommunications," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 249-261.
    2. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521805001, November.
    3. H. Leibenstein, 1950. "Bandwagon, Snob, and Veblen Effects in the Theory of Consumers' Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 64(2), pages 183-207.
    4. Bonus, Holger, 1973. "Quasi-Engel Curves, Diffusion, and the Ownership of Major Consumer Durables," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 655-677, May-June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Television; Internet;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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