Title: Social and cultural factors as a determinate of ICT expenditures: an empirical study

Authors: Larry Allen; Vivek Natarajan; Donald Price

Addresses: Department of Economics and Finance, Lamar University, P.O. Box 10045, LU Station, Beaumont, Texas, 77710, USA ' Department of Management and Marketing, Lamar University, P.O. Box 10025, LU Station, Beaumont, Texas, 77710, USA ' Department of Economics and Finance, Lamar University, P.O. Box 10045, LU Station, Beaumont, Texas, 77710, USA

Abstract: Information and communication technologies (ICT) have come to hold an important place in strategies for promoting economic growth and development in developing countries. It is known that ICT expenditures as a percent of GDP vary between countries. An elevated rate of ICT expenditures as a percent of GDP indicates that a country is closing the digital divide gap. The primary purpose of the paper is to identify social and cultural variables that explain variations in ICT expenditures measured as a percent of GDP. A multiple regression equation is estimated to examine the impact of selected social and cultural variables on ICT expenditures. The dependent variable is ICT expenditures as a percent of GDP. The independent variables include math and science education, freedom of press, percentage of English speaking, percentage of Protestant, and number of vacation days. This study suggests two factors that give countries an advantage in assimilating information and communication technologies. One is a high quality of math and science education. Another is a government that protects freedom of the press.

Keywords: information and communication technology; social variables; cultural variables; ICT expenditure; digital divide; English speaking; economic development; Protestant religion; business investment; freedom of the press; digital boundaries; mathematics education; science education; diffusion; information technology; culture; developing countries; ICT investment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISCM.2012.051147

International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management, 2012 Vol.6 No.2, pp.102 - 111

Available online: 21 Dec 2012 *

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