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Institutions and ICT Adoption
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The importance of good economic institutions for fostering economic growth has been established in a number of papers but the empirical relationship between institutions and technology diffusion is less researched. This paper addresses this question by focusing on the empirical relationship between institutions and the diffusion of three of the most influential Internet and Communication Technologies (ICT); cellular, Internet and PC:s. The findings are that economic institutions affect the diffusion of ICT mainly through delaying the time of adoption.  Once a country has adopted the technology, economic institutions has a negligible effect on the level of adoption.  Some other factors of importance to technology diffusion suggested in the theoretical literature are also tested. Financial and political institutions as well as human capital is correlated to initial adoption while the “appropriateness” of the technologies for a country matters more in later stages of the adoption process. However what turns out to be most decisive for the diffusion process is the maturity of the technology. Studying the dynamics of ICT adoption clearly shows that the more mature the technology is, the less effective are any barriers to technology adoption. The end result is that even if country specific-barriers do not diminish, all countries will nevertheless adopt ICT sooner or later. This maturity effect is much more important in explaining technology diffusion than any institutional effects.

Keyword [en]
Barriers to technology adoption, Economic Institutions, Technology diffusion
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-26957DiVA: diva2:212118
Available from: 2009-04-21 Created: 2009-04-21 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Essays on technology adoption and political reform in developing countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Essays on technology adoption and political reform in developing countries
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The adoption of new technology plays a vital role in a developing country’s path to economic growth and better living conditions. The first chapter in this dissertation analyzes some of the determinants of the differences between countries in adoption levels of Internet and Communication Technologies (the “digital divide”). Since ICTs are considered to be important for economic growth as well as for participation in the global communication society this “digital divide” between rich and poor countries has generated a large amount of interest.

 The result of technology adoption is not only a greater potential for increased standards of living. The environmental side effects have commanded an increasing share of attention. The third chapter focuses on the climate effects from the combination of economic growth in India and the recent technological development in the budget-sector in the automobile industry. The world has never before seen such large consumer segments as those expected to be created by the recent economic growth in the developing world. In India alone the middle class (those that almost can afford a car at today’s prices) is expected to grow from 10 million to 95 million households in the next 20 years. The expectations of the future demand from these new consumer groups have incited automobile manufacturers to start developing extremely cheap cars targeted towards this market. How will this combination of economic growth and “frugal engineering” affect greenhouse gas emissions?

 Not only improvement in the economic conditions of developing countries is important. Maybe even more decisive are the rules of the game that decides how the countries’ riches are distributed. Parts of those rules are made up of the political system in a country. The second chapter focuses on some of the dynamic effects for the poor from changes in those political rules. Income distribution is difficult to measure so instead I use a different indicator: mortality rate of children. High levels of child mortality are to a large extent a problem of the poor and the rate of child mortality in a country gives an indication of the situation for the country’s most vulnerable citizens. Do democratic transitions in a country relate to the level of child mortality and if it does how long does it take before the effect is seen?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, 2009. 110 p.
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26967 (URN)978-91-7155-876-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-28, hörsal 11, hus F, Universitetsvägen 10 , Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-07 Created: 2009-04-21 Last updated: 2009-04-21Bibliographically approved

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