The Economics of ICTs and Global Inequality: Convergence or Divergence for Developing Countries?
Work data:ISBN: 1 904143 76 8
Type of work: Working Paper
Categories:ICT Infrastructure | ICT4D
If debate on ICTs and development has drawn from any discipline, it has tended to be sociology. This paper attempts to broaden the debate by drawing on economic evidence to ask: will ICTs support economic convergence or divergence between developing and industrialised countries?
In an overall sense, technology is fundamental to development. However, ICTs – while having an uncertain impact on growth – are currently a force for global economic divergence rather than convergence. They diffuse more slowly in developing countries than industrialised countries, and they bring fewer benefits and greater costs to developing countries than industrialised countries.
This does not present an argument against adoption of ICTs by developing countries. Rather, it presents an argument for focus on particular applications and investment priorities.