Gender Differences in Information Technology Usage: A U.S.-Japan Comparison

FRB of Atlanta Working Paper No. 2004-2

36 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2004

See all articles by Hiroshi Ono

Hiroshi Ono

Texas A&M University

Madeline Zavodny

University of North Florida; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Agnes Scott College

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

This study examines whether there are differences in men's and women's use of computers and the Internet in the United States and Japan and how any such gender gaps have changed over time. The authors focus on these two countries because information technology is widely used in both, but there are substantial differences in institutions and social organizations. They use microdata from several surveys during the 1997-2001 period to examine differences and trends in computer and Internet usage in the two countries. Their results indicate that there were significant gender differences in computer and Internet usage in both countries during the mid-1990s. By 2001, these gender differences had disappeared or were even reversed in the United States but remained in Japan. People not currently working have lower levels of IT use and skills in both countries regardless of gender, but working women in Japan have lower levels of IT use and skills than working men, a difference that generally does not occur in the United States. This finding suggests that employment status per se does not play a large role in the gender gap in Japan, but type of employment does. The prevalence of nonstandard employment among female workers in Japan accounts for much of the gender gap in IT use and skills in that country.

Keywords: Computers, Internet, Gender, Nonstandard Employment

JEL Classification: O33, L86, J16

Suggested Citation

Ono, Hiroshi and Zavodny, Madeline, Gender Differences in Information Technology Usage: A U.S.-Japan Comparison (January 2004). FRB of Atlanta Working Paper No. 2004-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=501625 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.501625

Hiroshi Ono (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

Department of Sociology
College Station, TX 77843-4351
United States
979 458 3530 (Phone)

Madeline Zavodny

University of North Florida ( email )

4567 St. Johns Bluff Road, South
Jacksonville, FL 32224-2645
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Agnes Scott College ( email )

United States

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