Abstract - The Information Society 27(3)

An Econometric Analysis of the Sociodemographic Topology of the Digital Divide in Europe

Jörn H. B. Lengsfeld

Introducing an econometric approach to quantify the digital divide, this article presents a new method to facilitate cross-national and in-depth sectional analyses of the digital divide within a consistent framework. It examines the sociodemographic topology of the digital divide in an extensive cross-national analysis covering six sociodemographic factors and 25 countries. The findings contradict in part the conclusions of previous research. Although there are differences between the social groups, not all of the tested segmentation factors mark major fault lines of the digital divide. The notions of a gender gap, an income divide, and a divide between urban and rural areas are to be rejected because between-group disparity proves to be only minor in comparison to overall inequality. However, education, age and the main vocational activity do indeed mark digital boundaries in many of the observed countries.

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