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The (Fuzzy) Digital Divide: The Effect of Broadband Internet Use on UK Firm Performance

Timothy De Stefano, Richard Kneller () and Jonathan Timmis ()

Discussion Papers from University of Nottingham, School of Economics

Abstract: This paper applies a fuzzy regression discontinuity design to study the effects of ADSL broadband internet on the performance of firms. We exploit a geographical discontinuity in the availability of ADSL broadband, firms located one side of the divide had access to broadband services that those on the other side did not. The discontinuity stems from an historical accident, whereby the telecommunications in one area of the North East of England is delivered by a separate company to the national monopoly provider. We study the discontinuity at the boundary between these two telecommunications providers, which rolled out broadband infrastructure at different times. Our analysis strongly suggests that broadband use has no statistically significant effect on the performance of firms.

Keywords: broadband; firms; fuzzy regression discontinuity JEL Numbers: J23; J24; J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-eur, nep-ict and nep-net
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