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Regular version of the site

Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Nadezhda Sukhareva
Statistical Research and Modeling of Digital Inequality
Economics and Statistics
(Bachelor’s programme)
2017
Asymmetry in the level of informatization of the population, called digital divide, is the one of the major obstacles to the prosperity of a digital economy within the Russian Federation. The quantitative measurement of the information gap, the assessment of the direction of its dynamics and the identification of factors which affect the population's access to ICTs are the main aims of this research paper.

In the framework of the study, the methodology for calculation of the “Access to ICTs” Index was developed. This Index captures two dimensions of the digital divide. The first one is the access to basic ICTs such as mobile phones, personal computers and the Internet, and the second one is the access to wired network services, expressed in terms of fixed telephone connection and broadband fixed Internet. The gap, measured by the first dimension is much wider than by the second one. An annual decrease in the digital divide was recorded using the absolute values of the index. Spatial dependence was noted in the levels of the access to ICTs.

Multicriteria clustering procedures by Ward’s and k-means methods were carried out based on the eight fundamental Index indicators to study the structure of the phenomenon. Three clusters of regions were defined: leading, catching up and lagging behind.

The determination of the factors influencing the interregional information gap, measured by the composite index and its subindices separately, was carried out by building panel data regression models for 81 subjects in the period from 2011 to 2015. This stage of the analysis involved 12 explanatory variables divided into 4 groups: demographic, economic, tariff, and measuring the quality of human capital.

The results of this study can be practically applied to the effectiveness control of the current policy in the field of information and communication technologies and to the development of targeted measures to improve the situation with digital divide among Russian regions.

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