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The Empirics of the Digital Divide: Can Duration Analysis Help?

The Empirics of the Digital Divide: Can Duration Analysis Help?
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Author(s): Wei-Min Hu (Peking University HSBC School of Business, China) and James E. Prieger (Pepperdine University, USA)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 21
Source title: Handbook of Research on Overcoming Digital Divides: Constructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Enrico Ferro (Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB), Italy), Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Swansea University, UK), J. Ramon Gil-Garcia (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico) and Michael D. Williams (Swansea University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-699-0.ch035

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Abstract

Accurate measurement of digital divides is important for policy purposes. Empirical studies of broadband subscription gaps have largely used cross-sectional data, which cannot speak to the timing of technological adoption. Yet, the dynamics of a digital divide are important and deserve study. With the goal of improving our understanding of appropriate techniques for analyzing digital divides, we review econometric methodology and propose the use of duration analysis. We compare the performance of alternative estimation methods using a large dataset on DSL subscription in the U.S., paying particular attention to whether women, blacks, and Hispanics catch up to others in the broadband adoption race. We conclude that duration analysis best captures the dynamics of the broadband gaps and is a useful addition to the analytic tool box of digital divide researchers. Our results support the official collection of broadband statistics in panel form, where the same households are followed over time.

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