Understanding the digital divide: A literature survey and ways forward
The term digital divide was introduced in the mid-1990s and defined as the gap separating those who have access to new forms of information technology from those who do not. The digital divide remains an important public policy debate that encompasses social, economic and political issues. This paper presents a literature review and classification scheme for digital divide research. The review covers journal articles published between 2001 and 2010 in three types of journals: (1) Information technology & information systems, (2) Economics and business & management and (3) Social science. A classification of digital divide literature and a comprehensive list of references are provided. The results show that the digital divide is a multifaceted phenomenon, due to the many dimensions of determinant factors. Recent studies have included socio-economic, institutional and physiological factors in order to gain a greater understanding of the digital divide. Among other findings, they show that technological determinism is not sufficient to explain the emergence of the digital divide. Moreover, several types of technologies were investigated, both from empirical and conceptual standpoints. The Internet is the most commonly studied technology. The divide in access and usage are discussed at the global, social and democratic levels by employing a quantitative method, either a survey or data analysis, as the main method. However, there is less discussion in developing countries and at the level of the organization (i.e. SMEs, the private sector and the public sector). The qualitative research method could be seen as a complementary method to fill the gap in the current research. The choice of policies which have been recommended to the policy maker and national regulatory agency (NRA) are also presented and discussed at the end of this paper. Several initiatives made at the country and regional levels and by international organizations have also attempted to create a combined policy. This may suggest that the combined policy is the current trend among digital divide policies. Therefore, there is a need for future research to examine these determinants through the context of global, social and democratic divides. The results would provide some insight into how diverse people in different areas adopt ICTs.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.itseurope.org/|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David Cuberes & Luis Andrés & Tomás Serebrisky & Mame Astou Diouf, 2010. "The diffusion of Internet: a cross-country analysis," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-07, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
- Orviska, Marta & Hudson, John, 2009. "Dividing or uniting Europe? Internet usage in the EU," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 279-290, November.
- Wong, Poh-Kam, 2001.
"ICT Production and Diffusion in Asia Digital Dividends or Digital Divide?,"
Working Paper Series
UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Wong, Poh-Kam, 2002. "ICT production and diffusion in Asia Digital dividends or digital divide?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 167-187, June.
- Mark Srite & Jason Bennett Thatcher & Edith Galy, 2008. "Does Within-Culture Variation Matter? An Empirical Study of Computer Usage," Journal of Global Information Management (JGIM), IGI Global, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Thompson S.H. Teo, 2007. "Organizational Characteristics, Modes of Internet Adoption and Their Impact: A Singapore Perspective," Journal of Global Information Management (JGIM), IGI Global, vol. 15(2), pages 91-117, April.
- Hongxin Zhao & Seung Kim & Taewon Suh & Jianjun Du, 2007. "Social Institutional Explanations of Global Internet Diffusion: A Cross-Country Analysis," Journal of Global Information Management (JGIM), IGI Global, vol. 15(2), pages 28-55, April.
- Fairlie, Robert, 2014.
"The Effects of Home Computers on School Enrollment,"
Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt82w8v1m8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Fairlie, Robert W., 2005. "The effects of home computers on school enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 533-547, October.
- LÃ¡szlÃ³ A. Pook & Norman E. Pence, 2004. "Evaluation of Information Infrastructures and Social Development Among the Visegrad-Four Countries of Central Europe," Journal of Global Information Management (JGIM), IGI Global, vol. 12(2), pages 63-83, April.
- Hitt, Lorin & Tambe, Prasanna, 2007. "Broadband adoption and content consumption," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 362-378, October.
- Rice, Ronald E. & Katz, James E., 2008. "Assessing new cell phone text and video services," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 455-467, August.
- Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2006. "The dynamics of home computer ownership in Greece," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 73-86, March.
- Heath, Julia A., 2001. "Human Capital Investment: An International Comparison: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, OECD, Paris, 1998, pp. 113, Price $25.00 ," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 93-94, February.
- Flamm, Kenneth & Chaudhuri, Anindya, 0. "An analysis of the determinants of broadband access," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6-7), pages 312-326, July.
- Akhter, Syed H., 2003. "Digital divide and purchase intention: Why demographic psychology matters," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 321-327, June.
- Savage, Scott James & Waldman, Donald M., 2009. "Ability, location and household demand for Internet bandwidth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 166-174, March.
- Noh, Yong-Hwan & Yoo, Kyeongwon, 2008. "Internet, inequality and growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1005-1016.
- Yuguchi, Kiyotaka, 2008. "The digital divide problem: An economic interpretation of the Japanese experience," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 340-348, June.
- Schleife, Katrin, 2010. "What really matters: Regional versus individual determinants of the digital divide in Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 173-185, February.
- 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.
- Hanafizadeh, Mohammad Reza & Saghaei, Abbas & Hanafizadeh, Payam, 2009. "An index for cross-country analysis of ICT infrastructure and access," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 385-405, August.
- Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji & Lal, Kaushalesh, 2005. "Internet diffusion in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 507-527, August.
- James, M.J., 2003. "Sustainable internet access for the rural poor? Elements of an emerging Indian model," Other publications TiSEM 8ef7a517-434c-460d-be5e-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- James, M.J., 2004. "Reconstructing the digital divide from the perspective of a large, poor, developing country," Other publications TiSEM e932ff51-b4df-4ca3-b6bb-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Quibria, M. G. & Ahmed, Shamsun N. & Tschang, Ted & Reyes-Macasaquit, Mari-Len, 2003. "Digital divide: determinants and policies with special reference to Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 811-825, January.
- Goldfarb, Avi & Prince, Jeff, 2008. "Internet adoption and usage patterns are different: Implications for the digital divide," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 2-15, March.
- Prieger, James E. & Hu, Wei-Min, 2008. "The broadband digital divide and the nexus of race, competition, and quality," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 150-167, June.
- Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "The digital divide: understanding the economics of new information and communication technology in the global economy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 173-199, June.
- Chaudhuri, Anindya & Flamm, Kenneth S. & Horrigan, John, 0. "An analysis of the determinants of internet access," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(9-10), pages 731-755, October.
- Victor Glass & Stela Stefanova, 2010. "An empirical study of broadband diffusion in rural America," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 70-85, August.
- Barrantes, Roxana & Galperin, Hernan, 2008. "Can the poor afford mobile telephony? Evidence from Latin America," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 521-530, September.
- Lentz, R. G. & Oden, Michael D., 2001. "Digital divide or digital opportunity in the Mississippi Delta region of the US," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 291-313, June.
- Billon, Margarita & Marco, Rocio & Lera-Lopez, Fernando, 0. "Disparities in ICT adoption: A multidimensional approach to study the cross-country digital divide," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10-11), pages 596-610, November.
- Wood, Lawrence E., 2008. "Rural broadband: The provider matters," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 326-339, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:itse11:52191. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.