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The Evolution of the Digital Divide across Developing Countries: Theoretical Issues and Empirical Investigation

The Evolution of the Digital Divide across Developing Countries: Theoretical Issues and Empirical Investigation
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Author(s): Nicoletta Corrocher (Bocconi University, Italy) and Anna Raineri (Valuelab, Italy)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 17
Source title: Handbook of Research on Overcoming Digital Divides: Constructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Enrico Ferro (Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB), Italy), Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Swansea University, UK), J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico) and Michael D. Williams (Swansea University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-699-0.ch004

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Abstract

This chapter aims at investigating the evolution of the digital divide within a set of developing countries between the years 2000 and 2005. In doing so, it moves away from the traditional analysis of the digital divide, which compares developed countries and developing countries, and examines the existing gap within a relatively homogeneous group of countries. On the basis of the theoretical and empirical contributions from scholars in different disciplines, we select a series of socioeconomic and technological indicators and provide an empirical assessment of the digitalization patterns in a set of 51 low income and lower-middle income countries. By means of cluster analysis techniques, we identify three emerging patterns of the digital divide and derive a series of policy implications, related to the implementation of an effective strategy to reduce digital backwardness. The characteristics of each pattern of digitalization can be also usefully employed to understand whether past interventions, especially in the area of competition policy, have been successful in addressing country-specific issues.

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