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Information Inequality and Network Externalities: A Comparative Study of the Diffusion of Television and the Internet

Paul DiMaggio and Joseph Cohen ()
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Paul DiMaggio: Princeton University

No 36, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.

Abstract: This paper sheds light on whether intergroup inequality in Internet access is likely to persist as the diffusion process continues. To what extent is a given level of inequality in technology diffusion (e.g., use of the Internet) a long-term policy challenge or a temporary inconvenience? What general factors account for group-specific patterns of technology adoption? This paper draws on notions of network externalities to help answer this question. It also presents findings from a comparative analysis of household adoption of television from 1948 to 1957 and the Internet from 1994 to 2002.

Keywords: Television; Internet (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z11 L86 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003-10
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