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Does the Digital Divide Matter? The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Cross-country Level and Growth Estimates?


  • Leonardo Becchetti

    () (University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)

  • Fabrizio Adriani

    () (University of Rome II - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS))


The bulk of Information and Communication Technology is made of weightless, implementable and infinitely reproducible knowledge products (such as software and databases). These products are transferred by telephone lines, accessed through internet hosts and processed and exchanged through personal computers. In this work, the coefficient of the labor augmenting factor in the aggregate production function has been estimated using proxies of variables crucially affecting the diffusion of (non rivalrous and almost non excludable) knowledge products. This specification provides interesting answers to some of the open issues in the existing growth literature. The most recent information, even though available for a limited period, shows that telephone lines, personal computers, mobile phones and internet hosts significantly affect levels and growth of income per worker across countries. The result is robust to changes in sample composition, econometric specification and estimation approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Becchetti & Fabrizio Adriani, 2003. "Does the Digital Divide Matter? The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Cross-country Level and Growth Estimates?," CEIS Research Paper 4, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:4

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    Cited by:

    1. Ewa Lechman, 2012. "Technology convergence and digital divides. A country-level evidence for the period 2000–2010," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 31.
    2. Francesco VENTURINI, 2008. "Information Technology, Research & Development, or Both? What Really Drives A Nation's Productivity," Working Papers 321, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    3. Francesco Venturini, 2009. "The long-run impact of ICT," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 497-515, December.
    4. Sophia P. Dimelis & Sotiris K. Papaioannou, 2011. "Technical Efficiency and the Role of ICT: A Comparison of Developed and Developing Countries," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(0), pages 40-53, July.
    5. Yartey, Charles Amo, 2008. "Financial development, the structure of capital markets, and the global digital divide," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 208-227, June.
    6. Federico Biagi, 2013. "ICT and Productivity: A Review of the Literature," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2013-09, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    7. Fratesi, Ugo & Perucca, Giovanni, 2014. "Territorial Capital and the Effectiveness of Cohesion Policies: an Assessment for CEE Regions," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 29, pages 165-191.
    8. Sophia P. Dimelis & Sotiris K. Papaioannou, 2011. "Technical Efficiency and the Role of ICT: A Comparison of Developed and Developing Countries," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(0), pages 40-53, July.
    9. Charles Amo Yartey, 2006. "Financial Development, the Structure of Capital Markets, and the Global Digital Divide," IMF Working Papers 06/258, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Venturini, Francesco, 2015. "The modern drivers of productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 357-369.

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