The Internet and the Ability to Innovate in Latin America

40 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2011

See all articles by Alberto Chong

Alberto Chong

University of Ottawa

Alejandro Micco

University of Chile

Date Written: January 2002


In this paper we provide an overview of the situation of the Internet in Latin America and argue that, although latecomers, Latin American countries could in principle catch up at a faster pace and a lower cost. But that will depend on the environment for innovation in the countries; in that respect, the adoption of the Internet may prove to be no different than other technological changes. The paper also discusses how the degree of innovativeness in a country helps explain the extent to which new technologies may be more effectively absorbed. What is surprising about this relationship is that it is valid even when isolating the fact that countries with better telephone infrastructure are also the ones with more Internet hosts. We found that the capacity to innovate and assimilate new technologies is not just a matter of income or infrastructure endowment.

Suggested Citation

Chong, Alberto and Micco, Alejandro, The Internet and the Ability to Innovate in Latin America (January 2002). IDB Working Paper No. 389, Available at SSRN: or

Alberto Chong (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7

Alejandro Micco

University of Chile ( email )

Pío Nono Nº1, Providencia
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421

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