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The measurement of territorial differences in the information infrastructure in Hungary and the South Transdanubian Region

PÁGER, BALÁZS and ZSIBÓK, ZSUZSANNA (2015): The measurement of territorial differences in the information infrastructure in Hungary and the South Transdanubian Region. Published in: Regional Statistics , Vol. 4, No. 2 (February 2015): pp. 55-70.

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The information society has become a crucial area of the socio-economic processes over the last two to three decades, yet it was unable to reduce the differences between the development levels of different regions. The developed regions perform better and poorer regions have weaker performance in the development of info-communication technologies. It can be assumed that the lack of the info-communication tools may broaden the divide between the developed and underdeveloped regions. Therefore, it is important to measure and mitigate these differences. The results of such measurements may contribute to the formation of the regional development policy issues. This paper focuses on the analysis of the factors that play a role in the information society. These factors can help to characterize the information society on both the national and the sub-national level. Our goal is to investigate the territorial inequalities in the information society on a highly disaggregated level since the article studies the relative development of the settlements in the South Transdanubian Region. As a methodological background, we introduce a new and composite index referred to as “the territorial index of information society”, which relies on settlement and micro-regional level data collected by the Central Statistical Office of Hungary and other private institutions. Our results indicate that the best performing settlements are in micro-regions with advantageous positions and that they are the more populated towns or locate within their agglomeration. The less populated settlements in an underdeveloped micro-region have a more disadvantageous position in the information society. Therefore, the information readiness may create differences in a similar way to economic development.

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