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The Contribution of Broadband to the Economic Development of First Nations in Canada

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  • Centre for the Study of Living Standards

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Abstract

The faster access to information made possible by broadband Internet connectivity has had an important impact on the economy, transforming existing production processes and making new ones possible. The economic literature has shown that, in general, broadband has a statistically significant, positive effect on economic development. This report represents a first attempt at estimating the impact of broadband on economic development and job creation in First Nations reserves in Canada using econometric techniques. The report offers an up-to-date overview on the state of broadband availability in First Nations reserves, providing both national and provincial breakdowns of the data. It also details the main findings of the literature on the effect of broadband on economic development. Using a sample of 241 First Nations reserves and data from the 2001 and 2006 Aboriginal Population Profiles, we estimate the impact of broadband on average earnings and employment growth. Our econometric analysis failed to show a statistically significant impact of broadband on economic development. This finding, however, should be interpreted with caution, as severe data limitations might have affected the accuracy of the results. It is suggested that future econometric studies on the topic would benefit from more and better broadband data.

Suggested Citation

  • Centre for the Study of Living Standards, 2013. "The Contribution of Broadband to the Economic Development of First Nations in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2013-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:1302
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/reports/csls2013-04.pdf
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