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Facets of the digital divide in Europe: Determination and extent of internet use

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The primary objective of this article is to identify, given Internet accessibility, the factors that shape the decisions of individuals for personal Internet usage and its extent. Cross-sectional data from the European Social Survey database were utilized and an ordered probit model with selectivity was employed. The hypothesized link between the decision to use the Internet and the extent of usage was confirmed by the data. Household income, cost of access, demographics, media use, regional characteristics and general skill acquisition by individuals appear to correlate with Internet use and the extent of usage. In addition, a non-linear decomposition analysis was applied in order to identify the causes of the observed south/north divide. The results indicate that the observed differences in the probability of Internet use constitute a structural problem.

Keywords: Internet use; Non-linear decomposition; North–South Europe; Self-selection

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, University of Patras, Greece

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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