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What really matters: Regional versus individual determinants of the digital divide in Germany

By Katrin Schleife

Abstract

This paper analyses the regional dimension of the German digital divide. It studies the determinants of home Internet use in Germany on the level of counties as well as on the level of individuals. Based on two large data sets, the analyses show that population density itself cannot explain regional differences in Internet use rates. The results rather indicate that it is the different composition of individual characteristics between rural and urban populations that accounts for the regional digital divide. At individual level, the findings underline the importance of network effects.Digital divide Internet use Network effects

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