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How is ICT use linked to household transport expenditure? A cross-national macro analysis of the influence of home broadband access

Bris, Myriam; Pawlak, Jacek; Polak, John

Dataset used for analysis in the paper.

ABSTRACT: Understanding of the interactions between Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and physical mobility is a major area of research with practical applications in a number of fields. Very little, however, is known regarding how these relationships vary on a cross-national basis, including across countries at different stages in development. To address this gap, this paper presents an analysis of household transport expenditure as a function of the available variables, with a particular focus on the ICT. This analysis is based on a cross-sectional dataset from 2010 comprising information on 33 countries including average household transport expenditure, ICT represented by the percentage of households with Internet access at home, and a number of contextual macroeconomic and infrastructural variables
Using a log-log framework we find that, in our sample of countries, household transport expenditure is negatively associated with Internet penetration with an elasticity of -0.394. We verify this to be robust to endogeneity using presence of restrictions on foreign ownership in the Internet market as an instrumental variable. We also control for potential differences in data quality across countries using the Corruption Perceptions Index. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to quantify this relationship at a cross-national level while also controlling for endogeneity and data quality issues. Among the control variables, we observe the estimated effects to be intuitive, and consistent with existing research and microeconomic understandings of the behaviour of individuals and households.

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