Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2145704
 


 



Estimating Internet Users: An Evidence-Based Alternative in the Absence of Survey Data


Roshanthi Lucas Gunaratne


LIRNEasia

Rohan Samarajiva


LIRNEasia

September 5, 2012

CPRafrica 2012/CPRsouth7 Conference, Port Louis, Mauritius

Abstract:     
There are numerous Information and Communication Technology (ICT) indicators measured by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The present paper seeks to improve the measurement of the ICT indicator, ‘proportion of individuals using the Internet’. It is also a base indicator that is used in many composite indices. Errors in such base indicators ripple through the system, and should be minimized.

There are significant shortcomings in the current method of estimating the proportion of Internet users in countries where demand-side data is unavailable. In the absence of demand-side surveys, governments calculate the proportion of Internet users based on the number of subscriptions, using a multiplier, which leads to unrealistic values. The reported number of subscriptions is also often inaccurate.

This paper explores the possibility of using readily available income and education data components of the Human Development Index (HDI) to define a new index, and using it to obtain a more accurate estimate of the Internet penetration rate. A regression analysis, between the Internet penetration rate and this new index, for countries where demand-side surveys have been conducted yields a direct correlation between the two.

Using this data, a model was derived which enables the estimation of Internet penetration rate given the income and education level. It is proposed that this evidence based estimation of Internet penetration rate be used in the absence of demand side surveys instead of arbitrary multipliers provided by country administrations. If national circumstances justify higher numbers, that should be supported by a demand-side survey.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: Indicators

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Date posted: September 13, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Lucas Gunaratne , Roshanthi and Samarajiva, Rohan, Estimating Internet Users: An Evidence-Based Alternative in the Absence of Survey Data (September 5, 2012). CPRafrica 2012/CPRsouth7 Conference, Port Louis, Mauritius. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2145704

Contact Information

Roshanthi Lucas Gunaratne (Contact Author)
LIRNEasia ( email )
12, Balcomb Place
Colombo, 00800
Sri Lanka
Rohan Samarajiva
LIRNEasia ( email )
12, Balcomb Place
Colombo, 00800
Sri Lanka
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