The Internet and Income Inequality: Socio-Economic Challenges in a Hyperconnected Society
Telecommunications Policy, DOI/10.1016/j.telpol.2017.05.009, Forthcoming
45 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2017
Date Written: May 2, 2017
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) influence income distribution directly and indirectly. A diverse pattern of decreases and increases in income inequality has emerged in parallel with increasing fixed and mobile connectivity. Building on earlier research, this paper develops a socio-technical model to examine the contribution of hyperconnectivity to these outcomes. ICTs rarely are a single cause but interact with other technological, economic, and political forces to shape the extent of income inequality. Depending on the constellation of these factors, income inequality may decrease or increase. Public policy may be able to ameliorate undesirable outcomes although effective programs will typically require initiatives that go beyond traditional measures designed to reduce digital divides.
Keywords: Internet, Hyperconnectivity, Productivity, Globalization, Digital Innovation, Inequality
JEL Classification: O15, O33, L86, L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation