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Determinants of A Digital Divide In Sub-Saharan Africa : A Spatial Econometric Analysis of Cell Phone Coverage

Author: Piet Buys; Susmita Dasgupta; Tim Thomas; David Wheeler
Publisher: Washington, D.C : The World Bank, 2008.
Series: World Bank E-Library Archive
Edition/Format:   Computer file : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Most discussions of the digital divide treat it as a "North-South" issue, but the conventional dichotomy doesn't apply to cell phones in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although almost all Sub-Saharan countries are poor by international standards, they exhibit great disparities in coverage by cell telephone systems. Buys, Dasgupta, Thomas and Wheeler investigate the determinants of these disparities with a  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Piet Buys; Susmita Dasgupta; Tim Thomas; David Wheeler
OCLC Number: 874237571
Reproduction Notes: Reproduction. s.l.
Description: 1 online resource (26 p.)
Series Title: World Bank E-Library Archive
Responsibility: Buys, Piet.

Abstract:

Most discussions of the digital divide treat it as a "North-South" issue, but the conventional dichotomy doesn't apply to cell phones in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although almost all Sub-Saharan countries are poor by international standards, they exhibit great disparities in coverage by cell telephone systems. Buys, Dasgupta, Thomas and Wheeler investigate the determinants of these disparities with a spatially-disaggregated model that employs locational information for cell-phone towers across over 990,000 4.6-km grid squares in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using probit techniques, a probability model with adjustments for spatial autocorrelation has been estimated that relates the likelihood of cell-tower location within a grid square to potential market size (proximate population); installation and maintenance cost factors related to accessibility (elevation, slope, distance from a main road, distance from the nearest large city); and national competition policy. Probit estimates indicate strong, significant results for the supply-demand variables, and very strong results for the competition policy index. Simulations based on the econometric results suggest that a generalized improvement in competition policy to a level that currently characterizes the best-performing states in Sub-Saharan Africa could lead to huge improvements in cell-phone area coverage for many states currently with poor policy performance, and an overall coverage increase of nearly 100 percent.

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