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The Diffusion of the Internet and the Geography of the Digital Divide in the United States (WP-06-06)

Shane Greenstein and Jeff Prince

This working paper analyzes the rapid diffusion of the Internet across the United States over the past decade for both households and firms. The authors put the Internet’s diffusion into the context of economic diffusion theory where they consider costs and benefits on the demand and supply side. They also discuss several pictures of the Internet’s physical presence using some of the current main techniques for Internet measurement. They highlight different economic perspectives and explanations for the digital divide, that is, unequal availability and use of the Internet.

Shane Greenstein, Department of Management and Strategy, Northwestern University

Jeff Prince, Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

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