Technology Adoption and Innovation in Public Services: The Case of E-Government in Italy
29 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2009
Date Written: September 16, 2008
Using data on 1,176 Italian municipalities in 2005, this paper discusses a number of factors associated with the development of a particular type of innovative activities, namely e- government services supplied by local public administrations (PAs). We find that municipalities which got involved into e-government are larger, carry out more in-house ICT activities and are more likely to have intranet infrastructures, relative to PAs that do not offer front office digitalised services. They are also generally located in regions with relatively large shares of firms using or producing ICT, where many other municipalities offer digitalised services, and where concentration of inhabitants in metropolitan areas is not very high. The range and quality of e-government services supplied by local PAs tend to increase with their stock of ICT competencies, with their efforts to train workers, and with their ability to organize efficient interfaces with end-users. Moreover, there is a correlation between the range and quality of e-government services offered and the broadband infrastructure development of the geographic area in which local PAs are located. In more general terms, we show that the combination of internal competencies and context specific factors is different when explaining the decision to start e-government activities vs. the intensity of such activities. Regional factors, relating to both demand and supply of services, appear to affect only the decision to enter e-government activities. Competencies needed to expand and improve the quality of services are much more numerous and complex than the ones associated with the mere decision to start e-government activities.
Keywords: Innovation system, Dynamic capabilities, Technology adoption, Electronic government, Innovation in services, Twopart model
JEL Classification: H30, O33, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation