Journal Article

Digital Opportunities and the Missing Link for Developing Countries

Robin Mansell

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 17, issue 2, pages 282-295
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/17.2.282
Digital Opportunities and the Missing Link for Developing Countries

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The spread of digital information and communication technologies is enabling firms to implement electronic commerce. Many expect that the implementation of new means of trading internationally, especially using the Internet to support electronic commerce, will facilitate the entry of firms in developing countries into international markets. This paper assesses this claim. The analysis shows that the capacity to gain from the availability of the new technologies involves more than a reduction of the technological divide between (and within) countries. The institutional foundations for building capabilities that enable firms to absorb the new technological systems must also be in place. It is imperative that measures to develop electronic commerce and to devise broader technological leap‐frogging strategies are embedded within the framework of appropriate institutions and development goals. Failure to do so is likely to produce enclaves of development that will persist.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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