ICT Variables for Development in South America Through Federal Lenses
18 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 4, 2014
From the perspective of the information revolution and based on the methodology put forward by the Telecommunications Law Indicators for Comparative Studies (TLICS) Model published in 2011 and 2012, this paper builds on the federative indicator used by the literature on dependence of economic development on ICT to answer the following research question: What indicators better represent the institutional federative background in South America for the ICT comparative research? Six sets of federative indicators on revenue, fiscal transfer, regulatory power, judicial centralization, planning, and media content regulation are put together to compare South American federal environment as a groundwork for the ICT comparative research. The empirical universe of the paper encompassed eleven countries that formed a potpourri of eight officially unitary countries – Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay –, and three federal countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela –, that account all countries in South America apart from Guiana. The article is organized in three main parts. A brief description of the ICT federative indicators of the TLICS model is performed in the first part. The second part applies these variables to the aforementioned South American states. The third part delves into the comparison of the states analyzed by means of categorizing the differences and commonalities revealed by those indicators. To test the association between federalism as the explanatory variable and each of the outcomes proposed by the TLICS model, we used the following tests of significance: (i) Fisher exact test, to test the association between the federal status of a country and decentralized features in the given group of states; (ii) the relative risk of a country categorized as federal to have decentralized/interdependent ICT variables relative to the chance that a unitary country shows the same features; (iii) logistic regression, to predict the probability of a federal country to present decentralized/interdependent ICT variables. Using Fischer exact test, only ICT tax was significantly associated with a country being classified as federative in the telecommunications (p = 0.024) and e-commerce (p = 0.033) sectors. Calculating the logistic regression pinpointed tax as the only outcome with significant association to the institutional variable of federalism in telecom, broadcast, and e-commerce sectors. In terms of relative risk, the chance of a federal country having decentralized tax is 8 times greater than the chance of a non-federal country having decentralized tax in the telecommunications sector, and 7 times greater in the e-commerce sector. As a main outcome, based on data collected from the institutional background of those countries, we found clusters of commonalities between federal and unitary countries that support the assumption that the sole reference to a single federative category, as opposed to the use of atomized indicators, cannot provide a real picture of their institutional background for ICT and development comparative purposes.
Keywords: Comparative regulatory models; Federalism; South America; Telecommunications Law Indicators for Comparative Studies (TLICS Model).
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