Disparities in Purposeful Internet Use in U.S. States: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Socioeconomic Influences

39 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2020

See all articles by Avijit Sarkar

Avijit Sarkar

University of Redlands - School of Business

James B. Pick

University of Redlands

Date Written: July 26, 2019

Abstract

As attention in digital divide research shifts from internet access to its use, and subsequently its impacts, this paper examines purposeful uses of the internet for the US states in 2017 using data from the Digital Nation Data Explorer of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The conceptual model posits relationships of a group of demographic, societal, economic, and social capital variables to purposeful internet use (PIU) dependent variables that reference spatial clustering. The research questions are examine spatial patterns of PIU in US states and associations of demographic, socio-economic, affordability, innovation, social capital and societal openness factors with PIU dependent variables. Methods employed include k-means cluster analysis, mapping, and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analysis. Findings reveal unique cluster-based spatial patterns of high and low PIU in regions of the nation. The regression associations indicate that leading factors influencing PIU are professional, managerial, science and arts occupation, age (an inverse effect), social capital (positive effect), selected racial/ethnicity factors, and societal openness, with differences between PIU indicators for e-communication, e-entertainment, e-education, e-commerce, e-health, and purposeful internet use for internet-of-things and location-based services. Policy implications of the findings are discussed. The study is novel due to its emphasis on purposeful uses representing a second-level digital divide, the spatial insights, and new empirical findings.

Keywords: Purposeful Internet Use, Digital Divide, Social Capital, Regression, Spatial Autocorrelation, NTIA

JEL Classification: C21, C23, L86, L96

Suggested Citation

Sarkar, Avijit and Pick, James B., Disparities in Purposeful Internet Use in U.S. States: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Socioeconomic Influences (July 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3427101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3427101

Avijit Sarkar (Contact Author)

University of Redlands - School of Business ( email )

Redlands, CA
United States

James B. Pick

University of Redlands ( email )

PO Box 3080
School of Business
Redlands, CA 92373-0999
United States
909 748-6261 (Phone)
909 335-5125 (Fax)

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