Diffusion of the Internet: A Cross-Country Analysis

34 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Luis Alberto Andres

Luis Alberto Andres

World Bank

David Cuberes

University of Sheffield

Mame Astou Diouf

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Tomas Serebrisky

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Date Written: December 1, 2007


This paper analyzes the process of Internet diffusion across the world using a panel of 199 countries during 1990-2004. The authors group countries in two categories - low and high-income countries - and show that the Internet diffusion process is well characterized by an S-shape curve for both groups. Low-income countries display a steeper diffusion curve that is equivalent to a right shift of the diffusion curve for high-income countries. The estimated diffusion curves provide evidence of a catching-up process, although a very slow one. The paper explores the determinants of Internet diffusion at the country level and across the same income groups. The most novel finding is that network effects seem to be crucial - the number of Internet users in a country in a given year is positively associated with the number of users in the previous year. The findings also show that the degree of competition in the provision of Internet service contributes positively to its diffusion, and there are significant positive language externalities.

Keywords: Technology Industry, Information Security & Privacy, E-Business, Income, Education for the Knowledge Economy

Suggested Citation

Andres, Luis Alberto and Cuberes, David and Diouf, Mame Astou and Serebrisky, Tomas, Diffusion of the Internet: A Cross-Country Analysis (December 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1062402

Luis Alberto Andres

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

David Cuberes

University of Sheffield ( email )

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT

HOME PAGE: http://merlin.fae.ua.es/cuberes/

Mame Astou Diouf

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Tomas Serebrisky (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

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