ICT Use in the Developing World: An Analysis of Differences in Computer and Internet Penetration

15 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010

See all articles by Menzie David Chinn

Menzie David Chinn

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs and Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert W. Fairlie

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics

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Abstract

Using panel data for 161 countries, we explore the determinants of cross-country disparities in personal computer and Internet penetration. We find evidence indicating that income, human capital, the youth dependency ratio, telephone density, legal quality, and banking sector development are associated with technology penetration rates. Estimates from Blinder–Oaxaca decompositions comparing rates in the developed-country total to developing countries (Total, Brazil, China, Indonesia, India, Mexico, and Nigeria) reveal that the main factors responsible for low rates of technology penetration rates in developing countries are disparities in income, telephone density, legal quality, and human capital. In terms of dynamics, our results indicate fairly rapid reversion to long-run equilibrium for Internet use, and somewhat slower reversion for computer use.

Suggested Citation

Chinn, Menzie David and Fairlie, Robert W., ICT Use in the Developing World: An Analysis of Differences in Computer and Internet Penetration. Review of International Economics, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 153-167, February 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1537430 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9396.2009.00861.x

Menzie David Chinn (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs and Department of Economics ( email )

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Robert W. Fairlie

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://econ.ucsc.edu/~fairlie/

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