Does Information and Communication Technology Lead to the Well-Being of Nations? A Country-Level Empirical Investigation

14 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2015 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016

See all articles by Kartik K. Ganju

Kartik K. Ganju

McGill University

Paul A. Pavlou

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems; Temple University - Department of Strategic Management

Rajiv D. Banker

Temple University - Department of Accounting

Date Written: September 11, 2015

Abstract

This paper examines the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in enhancing the well-being of nations. Extending research on the role of ICT in the productivity of nations, we posit that the effects of ICT may not be limited to productivity (e.g., GDP), and we argue that the use of ICT can also improve the wellbeing of a country by helping citizens to develop their social capital and achieve social equality, enabling access to health-related information and health services, providing education to disadvantaged communities, and facilitating commerce. Using a number of empirical specifications, specifically a fixed-effects model and an instrumental variable approach, our results show that the level of ICT use (number of fixed telephones, Internet, mobile phones) in a country predict a country’s well-being (despite accounting for GDP and several other control variables that also predict a country’s well-being). Furthermore, by using an exploratory method (biclustering) of identifying both country-specific and ICT-specific variables simultaneously, we identify clusters of countries with similar patterns in terms of their use of ICT, and we show that not all countries increase their level of well-being by using ICT in the same manner. Interestingly, we find that less developed countries increase their level of well-being with mobile phones primarily, while more developed countries increase their level of well-being with any ICT system. Contributions and implications for enhancing the wellbeing of nations with ICT are discussed.

Keywords: Country well-being, ICT investments, ICT policy, ICT use, ICT adoption, effects of ICT

Suggested Citation

Ganju, Kartik K. and Pavlou, Paul A. and Banker, Rajiv D., Does Information and Communication Technology Lead to the Well-Being of Nations? A Country-Level Empirical Investigation (September 11, 2015). MIS Quarterly (Forthcoming); Fox School of Business Research Paper 15-072. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2659190

Kartik K. Ganju (Contact Author)

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke Street
Montréal, H3A 1G5
Canada

Paul A. Pavlou

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

1810 N. 13th Street
Floor 2
Philadelphia, PA 19128
United States

Temple University - Department of Strategic Management ( email )

Fox School of Business and Management
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Rajiv D. Banker

Temple University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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