Edited by Koen Frenken
Chapter 12: Explaining the Territorial Adoption of New Technologies: A Spatial Econometric Approach
12. Explaining the territorial adoption of new technologies: a spatial econometric approach Andrea Bonaccorsi, Lucia Piscitello and Cristina Rossi* 1. INTRODUCTION The idea that information and communication technology (ICT) will reduce the economic importance of geographic distance has been expounded energetically in post-Internet literature (Cairncross, 2001). According to this view, the New Economy works in a space rather than a place, transport costs will be drastically reduced, distance will be less important, and peripheral regions will beneﬁt from opportunities that are not available in an economy based on manufacturing industry (Negroponte, 1995; Kelly, 1998; Compaine, 2001). Since it is mostly based on non-material and human capital investment, ICT oﬀers new areas of potential growth to regions or areas that have historically suﬀered from isolation, high transport costs or a lack of private and public physical infrastructure. Consequently, according to this view, the concentration of income opportunities and wealth should decrease over time. Although other predictions have also been made in the debate over the impact of the digital economy (for example, UNDP, 2001; Norris, 2002), this view is still prevalent. However, the reality is not so rosy. Not only are there huge disparities in the intensity with which ICT is adopted across countries, but big diﬀerences still persist within industrialised countries. Indeed, diﬀerences in economic development still shape the rate of the adoption of these technologies, at ﬁrm, regional and national levels. The reasons for these stylised facts have been investigated at length in recent...
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