The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Peña-López: Policy-making for digital development: the role of the government


Peña-López, I., Open University of Catalonia


Our research focuses on whether there is a need for action by governments - and the public sector in general - to promote the Information Society and, if any, what should be the specific role of them.

We first define several stages of digital development at the country level through cluster analysis, which we characterize by means of contingency tables or cross tabulations. One of our first findings is that most countries follow a similar path of digital development, and one that has a strong correlation with socioeconomic development: higher levels of wealth and economic development, education and the existence of digital infrastructures almost always coincide with higher levels of digital development. However, we also find outlying economies that follow their own digital development structure: leapfroggers.

We then perform binomial logistic analysis to find out the reasons of being a digital leader or laggard. Besides the usual socioeconomic indicators causing higher or lower digital development levels, we also find that Governments can accelerate the process of digital development through the adoption of public policies that frame and foster the Information Society – such as Government prioritization of ICT and assigning a high importance to ICT in government vision of the future – and establishing an appropriate Economic Incentive Regime. This will raise the probability of a country of reaching higher stages of digital development.

e-readiness, digital divide, policy, information society, digital economy, composite indices, cluster analysis, binomial logistic regression
Ismael Peña-López