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

See all articles by Johannes M. Bauer

Johannes M. Bauer

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information

Date Written: May 2, 2017

Abstract

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

Bauer, Johannes M., The Internet and Income Inequality: Socio-Economic Challenges in a Hyperconnected Society (May 2, 2017). Telecommunications Policy, DOI/10.1016/j.telpol.2017.05.009, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3007104

Johannes M. Bauer (Contact Author)

Michigan State University-Department of Media and Information ( email )

409 Communication Arts Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
United States
517-355-8372 (Phone)
517-355-1292 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~bauerj

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