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Employment and the gender digital divide in Latin America: A decomposition analysis

Hernan Galperin and Malena Arcidiacono

Telecommunications Policy, 2021, vol. 45, issue 7

Abstract: There is a vast literature that examines the determinants of the gender digital gap in developing countries, and puts forth policy recommendations to mitigate it. However, few studies examine how gender differences in labor force participation and employment patterns affect ICT adoption in general, or Internet use in particular. This matters because employment and the types of jobs that men and women do correlate with different opportunities to access the Internet and develop digital skills, both of which contribute to overall Internet engagement. This study contributes to fill this gap by exploring how gender differences in employment affect the digital gender gap in four Latin American countries. The findings point to differences in employment patterns between men and women as the largest single contributor to the gender gap in Internet use in these countries, ahead of differences in other predictors of Internet use such as income, age and education. Further, our results suggest that the correlation between employment and Internet use is stronger among women than men, which we attribute to the fact that women tend to work in more ICT-intensive sectors (e.g., health services and education). Estimates from a decomposition analysis suggest that if women were employed at the same rate as men the gender digital gap in these countries would be reduced by at least a quarter.

Keywords: Digital gender gap; Labor markets; Latin America; Decomposition analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2021.102166

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