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

Abstract

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.

References

Ahn, H., & Lee, M. (1999). An econometric analysis of the demand for access to mobile telephone networks. Information Economics and Policy, 11(3), 297–305. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-6245(99)00016-5

Andonova, V. (2006). Mobile phones , the Internet and the institutional environment. Telecommunications Policy, 30(1), 29–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2005.06.015

Baliamoune-Lutz, M. (2003). An analysis of the determinants and effects of ICT diffusion in developing countries. Information Technology for Development, 10(August 2002), 151–169. https://doi.org/10.1002/itdj.1590100303

Barman, H., Kanti, M., & Nath, H. K. (2018). The telecommunications divide among Indian states. Telecommunications Policy, 42(7), 530–551. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2018.05.003

Billon, M., Marco, R., & Lera-lopez, F. (2009). Disparities in ICT adoption : A multidimensional approach to study the cross-country digital divide. Telecommunications Policy, 33(10–11), 596–610. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2009.08.006

Chinn, M. D., & Fairlie, R. W. (2007). Internet Penetration The determinants of the global digital divide : a cross-country analysis of computer and internet penetration. Oxford Economic Papers, 59(1), 16–44. https://doi.org/10.1093/oep/gp1024

Coria, S. R., Mondragón-Becerra, R., Pérez-Meza, M., Ramírez-Vásquez, S. K., Martínez-Peláez, R., Barragán-López, D., & Ávila-Barrón, O. R. (2013). CT4RDD: Classification trees for research on digital divide. Expert Systems with Applications, 40(14), 5779–5786. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2013.04.002

Cuervo, M. R. V., & Menéndez, A. J. L. (2006). A multivariate framework for the analysis of the digital divide: Evidence for the European Union-15. Information & Management, 43(6), 756–766. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2006.05.001

Dewan, S., & Riggins, F. J. (2005). The Digital Divide : Current and Future Research Directions. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 6(12), 298–337.

Dobransky, K., & Hargittai, E. (2006). The disability divide in internet access and use, 4462. https://doi.org/10.1080/13691180600751298

Doong, S. H., & Ho, S. (2012). Electronic Commerce Research and Applications The impact of ICT development on the global digital divide. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 11(5), 518–533. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.elerap.2012.02.002

Dossani, R., Misra, D. C., & Jhaveri, R. (2005). Enabling ICT for Rural India. Project Report. Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University and National Informatics Centre, Government of India. Retrieved from http://www.mssrf-nva.org/Speeches/Enabling ICT for Rural India by Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University, National Informatics Centre By Rafiq Dossani, D.C. Misra, Roma Jhaveri, November 2005.pdf

Dutta, D. (2018). Development under Digital Divide in India. In Development under Dualism and Digital Divide in Twenty-First Century India. Singapore: Springer.

Ghosh, Saibal. (2016). Does mobile telephony spur growth ? Evidence from Indian states. Telecommunications Policy, 40(10–11), 1020–1031. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2016.05.009

Ghosh, Sajal, & Prasad, R. (2014). Telephone penetrations and economic growth: Evidence from India, (March). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11066-012-9067-z

Gulati, G. J., & Yates, D. J. (2012). Different paths to universal access : The impact of policy and regulation on broadband diffusion in the developed and developing worlds. Telecommunications Policy, 36(9), 749–761. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2012.06.013

Gupta, K. (2018). Mobile internet penetration in rural India is just 18%: report. LiveMint. Retrieved from https://www.livemint.com/Technology/OBZOWMvu6CXHMPCdplDYfM/Mobile-internet-penetration-in-rural-India-is-just-18-repo.html

Gupta, R., & Jain, K. (2012). Diffusion of mobile telephony in India : An empirical study. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 79(4), 709–715. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2011.08.003

Haenssgen, M. J. (2018). The struggle for digital inclusion : Phones , healthcare , and marginalisation in rural India. World Development, 104, 358–374.

James, J. (2007). From origins to implications: key aspects in the debate over the digital divide. Journal of Information Technology, 22, 284–295. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jit.2000097

Kaushik, P. D., & Singh, N. (2004). Information Technology and Broad-Based Development : Preliminary Lessons from North India. World Development, 32(4), 591–607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2003.11.002

Kiiski, S., & Pohjola, M. (2002). Cross-country diffusion of the Internet. Information Economics and Policy, 14, 297–310.

Lera-lopez, M. B. F., & Marco, R. (2016). ICT use by households and firms in the EU : links and determinants from a multivariate perspective. Review of World Economics, 152(4), 629–654. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10290-016-0259-8

Mukerji, M. (2013). ICTs and development: A study of telecentres in rural India. Palgrave Macmillian. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137005540

Narayana, M. R. (2011). Telecommunications services and economic growth : Evidence from India. Telecommunications Policy, 35(2), 115–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2010.12.001

Nishida, T., Pick, J. B., & Sarkar, A. (2014). Japan’s prefectural digital divide: A multivariate and spatial analysis. Telecommunications Policy, 38(11), 992–1010. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2014.05.004

Nishijima, M., Ivanauskas, T. M., & Sarti, F. M. (2017). Evolution and determinants of digital divide in Brazil (2005–2013). Telecommunications Policy, 41(1), 12–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2016.10.004

Parayil, G. (2005). Political Economy and Information Capitalism in India. Palgrave Macmillian.

Park, S. R., Choi, D. Y., & Hong, P. (2015). Club convergence and factors of digital divide across countries. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 96, 92–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2015.02.011

Pick, J. B., & Azari, R. (2008). Global Digital Divide : Influence of Socioeconomic , Governmental , and Accessibility Factors on Information Technology. Information Technology for Development, 14(2), 91–115. https://doi.org/10.1002/itdj

Pick, J. B., & Nishida, T. (2015). Digital divides in the world and its regions: A spatial and multivariate analysis of technological utilization. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 91, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2013.12.026

Pick, J. B., & Sarkar, A. (2015). India’s Digital Divide. In The Global Digital Divides: Explaining Change. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Pick, J. B., Sarkar, A., & Johnson, J. (2015). United States digital divide: State level analysis of spatial clustering and multivariate determinants of ICT utilization. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 49, 16–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2014.09.001

Rath, B. N. (2016). Does the digital divide across countries lead to convergence ? New international evidence. Economic Modelling, 58, 75–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econmod.2016.05.020

Scheerder, A., Deursen, A. Van, & Dijk, J. Van. (2017). Telematics and Informatics Determinants of Internet skills , uses and outcomes . A systematic review of the second- and third-level digital divide. Telematics and Informatics, 34(8), 1607–1624. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2017.07.007

Singh, S. K. (2008). The diffusion of mobile phones in India. Telecommunications Policy, 32(3), 642–651. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2008.07.005

Sujarwoto, S., & Tampubolon, G. (2016). Spatial inequality and the Internet divide in Indonesia. Telecommunications Policy, 40(7), 602–616. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2015.08.008

Vicente, M. R., & Lopez, A. J. (2011). Assessing the regional digital divide across the European Union-27. Technology Policy, 35, 220–237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2010.12.013

Vu, K. M. (2011). ICT as a source of economic growth in the information age : Empirical evidence from the 1996 – 2005 period. Telecommunications Policy, 35(4), 357–372. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.telpol.2011.02.008

Zhang, X. (2017). Telematics and Informatics Exploring the patterns and determinants of the global mobile divide. Telematics and Informatics, 34(1), 438–449. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2016.06.010

Zhao, F., Collier, A., & Deng, H. (2014). A multidimensional and integrative approach to study global digital divide and e-government development. Information Technology & People, 27(1), 38–62. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2013-0022

Published
2021-06-21
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. https://doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v25i0.3029
Section
Research Articles