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The North-South Digital Divide in Information and Communication Technologies Development: the Case for Spanish Regions

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  • Fernando Lera

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  • Margarita Billón

Abstract

The "New Economy" is a concept that is associated with the growth of the US economy in the second half of the nineties, which were characterised by high growth in GDP. In attempt to find an explanation for these events, research to date cites the main determinant to be the marked rise in labour productivity that came about as a result of the impact of Information and Communication Technologies, particularly the Internet. The purpose of the present study is to examine the phenomenon that has arisen around this "new or digital economy" and the development of the Internet from the macro and microeconomic viewpoint and then show how the Spanish regions lag behind the rest of Europe in this respect. Firstly, we present international evidences of the positive impact of ICT in terms of labour and multifactorial productivity in national economies, industrial sectors and firms. These evidences are contrasted with some spanish studies. Secondly, we measure the importance of ICT in Europe. We base our method on a set of indicators, classified into three areas: infrastructure and size of sector, use of Internet and electronic commerce, and social and economic effects. We then examine the Spanish situation electronic commerce, and social and economic effects. We then examine the Spanish situation within the context of the rest of Europe, and discover a major north-south digital divide affecting certain areas, along with major interregional disparities. As far as Internet development is concerned, there are major regional differences. The paper points out the fact that Spain registers the highest standard deviation, in other words, the greatest regional differences, which, reflected in terms of different synthetic/composite indicators. This lag in progress contrasts with Spain's public policies aimed at promoting the Internet. Nevertheless, Internet development can provide the opportunity to close this gap within the EU. It may, however, increase discrepancies between the regions, by giving regions with higher per capita income an advantage in terms of productivity and competitiveness, unless a determined effort is made to implement actions aimed at developing the information society.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando Lera & Margarita Billón, 2004. "The North-South Digital Divide in Information and Communication Technologies Development: the Case for Spanish Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa04p307, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa04p307
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
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    3. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2006. "Projecting Productivity Growth: Lessons from the US Growth Resurgence," Chapters,in: The New Economy and Beyond, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
    5. Bart van Ark & Robert Inklaar & Robert H. McGuckin, 2002. "'Changing Gear' - Productivity, ICT and Services Industries: Europe and the United States," Economics Program Working Papers 02-02, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
    6. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2003. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 477-503, July.
    7. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2007. "Information Technology and the G7 Economies," NBER Chapters,in: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches, pages 325-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Stefano Scarpetta & Thierry Tressel, 2002. "Productivity and Convergence in a Panel of OECD Industries: Do Regulations and Institutions Matter?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 342, OECD Publishing.
    9. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
    10. Dirk Pilat & Frank C. Lee, 2001. "Productivity Growth in ICT-producing and ICT-using Industries: A Source of Growth Differentials in the OECD?," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2001/4, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Lucia Piscitello & Cristina Rossi, 2007. "Explaining the Territorial Adoption of New Technologies: A Spatial Econometric Approach," Chapters,in: Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. BEN YOUSSEF, Adel & METHAMEM, Raouchen & M'HENNI, Hatem, 2009. "Disparités régionales et diffusion des TIC en Tunisie
      [Regional disparities and ICTs diffusion in Tunisia]
      ," MPRA Paper 17938, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
    3. Guido De Blasio, 2008. "Urban-Rural Differences in Internet Usage, e-Commerce, and e-Banking: Evidence from Italy," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 341-367.

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