The Economic Impact of Digital Technologies

The Economic Impact of Digital Technologies

Measuring Inclusion and Diffusion in Europe

Edited by Paolo Guerrieri and Sara Bentivegna

The Economic Impact of Digital Technologies offers a profoundly illuminating examination of ICT transformations in Europe and its critical role in greater social inequality. It presents scholars and policy makers with original and practical tools to benchmark and assess the ICT diffusion and inclusion process. The core message of the book is that a coherent European strategy for embedding ICT technologies in society is long overdue.

Introduction

Edited by Paolo Guerrieri and Sara Bentivegna

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict

Extract

Differences in economic performance between industrialized countries are largely explained by the level of investment and research in, and use of, information and communication technologies (ICT), and by the competitiveness of the information society and media industries. ICT services, skills, media and content are a growing part of the economy and society. Indeed, the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, intended to modernize the European economy and to build a knowledge-based economy, is strictly linked to an ‘information society for all’, in other words a widespread use of ICT in public services, SMEs and households. Progress in e-inclusion, however, is still slow. Social differences in ICT use persist and in some cases are even widening. Most of the Riga targets will be difficult to achieve if current trends continue. Therefore much more should be done to achieve e-inclusion, and EU intervention is justified to guarantee equal access and effective participation in the information society, internal market coherence and e-inclusion co-ordination actions. At the end of the 1990s, when the European Council began to deliberate upon and formulate plans of action with regard to the role of ICT within the European economy, the theme of ICT diffusion slowly began to attract the attention of policy makers and researchers. To achieve this main goal, over the years many intervention plans have been prepared and implemented. In this perspective a path articulated on two tracks has been followed: the first devoted to finding and describing the modalities and the pace of ICT diffusion...