Abstract - The Information Society 27(2)

Are Changes in the Digital Divide Consistent with Global Equality or Inequality?

Jeffrey James

To answer the question in the title, I divide a sample of developing countries according to whether they have experienced a rise or fall of the (absolute) digital divide in the Internet. I suggest that where the divide is falling incomes in those countries will tend to be relatively high and vice-versa in the case of a rising divide. This relationship is examined on the basis of simple regression analysis which is consistent with my hypothesis at a high level of signif-icance. Interpretation of the findings is carried out mainly in relation to countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and those from Latin America and the Caribbean. In short, recent changes in the digital divide are associated with global inequality rather than equality, although there are some important anomalies that need to be explained.

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