Determinants of Digital Divide using Demand-Supply Framework

Evidence from India

  • Prof. Atulan Guha Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
  • Maitrayee Mukerji Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
Keywords: Digital Divide, Key determinants, Econometric, India, Census


In last two decades, India has seen high economic growth. Concomitantly, there has been increase in availability and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). However, ICT penetration in India is much less when compared to global averages. There exists a substantive level of inequality in ICT access and use. Empirical studies on extent and nature of digital divide in India are few, especially those with explicit theoretical demand-supply framework, using consistent and reliable pan India data. This paper is an attempt to address these research gaps. It examines the digital divide in India across socio-economic classes and different political-geographic regions. The reduced form demand equations for two ICT instruments – Internet and mobile phone - are estimated separately for households aggregated at subnational level. A multi-variate econometric model identifies both demand and supply side factors shaping differential access by households. Findings indicate digital divide is a reflection of existing socio-economic divide. On the demand side, socio-economic inequality as manifest in the economic conditions of households, social category, occupational profile, age and education status are key determinants of district level digital divide. Further, supply side factors like availability of electricity, mobile network and extent of urbanization also play an important role.

Author Biography

Prof. Atulan Guha, Indian Institute of Management Kashipur

Prof. Atulan Guha holds a PhD in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. His current research interests include Development Economics, Structural Issues in Indian Economy and Applied Econometrics. He has written more than 20 journal articles, book chapters and working papers. Dr. Guha has done commissioned studies for many organizations including UNICEF, State Finance Commission of Gujarat and various ministries of Government of India. He had been consultant to Kerala State Planning Board, India. He was Member-Convener of the Task Force on Special Economic Zones as well as member of the Plan Committee on Industries for the eleventh 5-year plan of Kerala State Planning Board. He was member of the State Advisory Committee of Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC), India.


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How to Cite
Guha, A., & Mukerji, M. (2021). Determinants of Digital Divide using Demand-Supply Framework : Evidence from India. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 25.
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