Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Diffusion of Internet: A Cross-Country Analysis

Cuberes, David (2008): The Diffusion of Internet: A Cross-Country Analysis.

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the process of Internet diffusion across the world using a panel of 199 countries during the time interval 1990-2004. We group countries in two categories, low and high income countries, and show that the Internet diffusion process is well characterized by an S-shape curve for both groups. Low income countries display a steeper diffusion curve and equivalent to a right shift of the high income countries diffusion curve. The estimated diffusion curves provide evidence of a “catching up” process, although a very slow one. We next explore the determinants of Internet diffusion at the country level and across the same income groups. Our most novel finding is that network effects seem to be crucial—the number of Internet users in a country at a given year is positively associated with the number of users in the previous year. We also find that the degree of competition in the provision of Internet contributes positively to its diffusion and we also identify significant positive language externalities.

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