The Effect of Content on Global Internet Adoption by V. Brian Viard & Nicholas Economides [NET Institute Working Paper]

Posted in: Research at 23/09/2011 18:18

Abstract: We test the effect of content availability on Internet adoption across countries. Controlling for the endogeneity of content with respect to the installed base of Internet users and a host of demographic, economic and infrastructure factors, content has a statistically and economically significant effect.

Since content is more easily and quickly altered than these other factors, our results suggest that policies promoting content creation will positively affect Internet diffusion even in the short run. Our results also suggest that, given its ubiquity, Internet content is a useful tool to affect social change across countries. Content has a greater effect on adoption in countries with more disparate languages, consistent with its use to overcome linguistic isolation, and in countries with international Internet gateways, suggesting the importance of infrastructure to deliver content.

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