Measuring Socio-Economic Digitization: A Paradigm Shift

Raul L. Katz

The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI)

Pantelis Koutroumpis

Imperial College Business School; Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

March 30, 2012

2012 TRPC

Digitization is defined as the social transformation triggered by the massive adoption of digital technologies to generate, process, share and transact information. Unlike other technological innovations, digitization builds on the evolution of network access technologies, semiconductor technologies, software engineering and the spillover effects resulting from their use. This paper presents a methodology followed to calculate the Digitization Index, a measure of country level of digitization, a concept originally developed by Booz & Company, the global management consulting firm. This index consists of six elements capturing Ubiquity, Affordability, Reliability, Speed, Usability and Skill and 23 sub-indicators measuring tangible parameters of perceived digitization metrics. The sample spans across 150 countries from 2004 to 2010. Countries are clustered as Digitally Constrained, Emerging, Transitional or Advanced. Once the index is defined, hypotheses regarding the contribution of digitization to economic growth, job creation and welfare are tested. In addition, a critical mass hypothesis is also tested as additional returns might derive from network externalities and spillover effects. The results provide strong support for the effect of digitization across all growth generating metrics.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: digitization, economic growth, unemployment, welfare

JEL Classification: L96, L52, O38

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Date posted: April 2, 2012 ; Last revised: December 28, 2012

Suggested Citation

Katz, Raul L. and Koutroumpis, Pantelis, Measuring Socio-Economic Digitization: A Paradigm Shift (March 30, 2012). 2012 TRPC. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2031531 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2031531

Contact Information

Raul L. Katz (Contact Author)
The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) ( email )
535 W 116th St.
New York, NY 10027
United States
0012128544222 (Phone)
0012128541471 (Fax)
Pantelis Koutroumpis
Imperial College Business School ( email )
South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, DC SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
Columbia Institute for Tele-Information ( email )
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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