The Economic Impact of Digital Technologies
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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.
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Chapter 6: The economic impact of digital technologies: an empirical analysis on European countries


6.1 ASSESSING THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF E-INCLUSION: A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE RELEVANT LITERATURE The economic benefits of e-inclusion are difficult to estimate. In fact on the macroeconomic quantification of the inclusive potentials of ICT and its impact on economic performance (productivity, consumer welfare, employability and economic growth) there is almost no or only anecdotal evidence in the current socioeconomic literature (see literature review, Chapter 5). The analysis carried out in this part of the book aims at moving a step ahead in the direction of quantifying the economic impact of e-inclusion by relating the set of indicators of e-inclusion developed in the first part of the project with a set of economic variables that should be affected by the diffusion of ICT. We will also highlight the possible transmission mechanisms between the various proxies of e-inclusion and the ‘performance’ variables. The analysis asks whether the different dimensions of ICT diffusion identified in the first part of the study (infrastructure, usage and impact) exert different impacts on performance variables. In this framework we also aim at assessing the extent of interdependencies between the goals defined in the Riga Ministerial Declaration (2006) in terms of e-inclusion and the economic targets defined formerly in the Lisbon Strategy and now in the strategy Europe 2020, concerning in particular the overall employment rate and that of disadvantaged categories (women and older workers). In particular the strategy Europe 2020 aims at bringing to 75 per cent the employment rate for women and men aged 20...

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