Consumer Preferences, Perceptions, and Persistent Barriers: An Assessment of Internet Usage During and Post COVID-19 Pandemic in Peru

33 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2023

See all articles by Diego Aguilar

Diego Aguilar

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP; Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Roxana Barrantes

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP; Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Aileen Aguero Garcia

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP; International Development Research Centre (IDRC) - Diálogo Regional Sobre la Sociedad de la Información (DIRSI)

Alexandra Soberón

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP

Date Written: July 31, 2023

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the existing shortfall in telecommunications infrastructure in Peru, particularly in terms of Internet connectivity in urban areas, let alone rural ones. However, this challenge has also led to a shift in the population’s perception regarding the relevance of Internet use in daily activities. This study uses the digital technologies surveys from the 2020 and 2022 CORE project to examine changes in Internet use and attitudes in the post-pandemic period. This paper provides empirical evidence of changes in consumer preferences for Internet usage following a negative exogenous shock that transformed face-to-face activities into virtual ones. In addition, the study explores heterogeneities in usage, perception, and main barriers, allowing population preferences to vary by socioeconomic characteristics and COVID-19 exposure. Our main results show a decrease in Internet use related to education, work, and government transactions, but an increase in health Internet activities in places with higher rate of COVID-19 deceases (both in the extensive and intensive margin). In addition, we find that this negative effect over Internet use is mainly explained by affordability and skills constraints, informal and unskilled workers, less educated individuals and municipalities with poor quality fixed Internet. Finally, consumer perception turned negative towards government responsibility regarding the delivery of public services through the Internet.

Keywords: Internet, COVID-19, consumer preferences, digital connectivity

JEL Classification: L86, L96, O15, O36

Suggested Citation

Aguilar, Diego and Barrantes, Roxana and Aguero Garcia, Aileen and Soberón, Alexandra, Consumer Preferences, Perceptions, and Persistent Barriers: An Assessment of Internet Usage During and Post COVID-19 Pandemic in Peru (July 31, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4527126 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4527126

Diego Aguilar (Contact Author)

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP ( email )

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Roxana Barrantes

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP ( email )

Av Horacio Urteaga
Distrito de Lima, 15072
Peru

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru ( email )

1801 Universitaria Avenue
San Miguel
Lima, Lima Lima32
Peru

Aileen Aguero Garcia

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP ( email )

Av Horacio Urteaga
Distrito de Lima, 15072
Peru

International Development Research Centre (IDRC) - Diálogo Regional Sobre la Sociedad de la Información (DIRSI) ( email )

Lima
Peru

Alexandra Soberón

Instituto de Estudios Peruanos - IEP ( email )

Av Horacio Urteaga
Distrito de Lima, 15072
Peru

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