Understanding the Evolving Digital Divide

  • Russel Cooper
  • Gary Madden
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


Much activity of international aid and development agencies focuses on the North- South digital divide.1 Available evidence shows a staggering gap between developed and developing country information and communication technology (ICT) access, e.g., at the end of the 20th century the average OECD Member Country had an eleven times greater per capita income than that for a typical South Asian country. Further, it possessed 40 times more computers, 146 times the mobile telephones and 1,036 times Internet hosts (Rodríguez and Wilson 2000).2 Most developing countries are not catching up with developed countries, and so the gap continues to grow. As (1999) concludes:

Poor countries are not catching up with the rich, and to some extent the income distribution is becoming polarized. Countries do converge to their own steady states, but at an uncertain rate. One reason for this uncertainty is that countries catch up by adopting technologies from abroad, as weil as by investing in physical capital and education. It is easy to envisage a hypothetical long-run equilibrium in which countries grow at the same rate, but over the last thirty years, rates of efficiency growth have almost certainly varied widely (Temple 1999: 151).


Joint Venture Digital Divide Mobile Telephony Application Sector Optimal Investment Strategy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russel Cooper
    • 1
  • Gary Madden
    • 2
  1. 1.Australian Expert Group in Industry StudiesSchool of Economics and Finance University of Western SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Communication Economics and Electronic Markets Research CentreCurtin University of TechnologyPerth, WAAustralia

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