Can internet infrastructure help reduce regional disparities? Evidence from Turkey

Mehmet Guney Celbis & Denis de Crombrugghe


This study presents novel evidence regarding the role of regional internet infrastructure in reducing regional per capita income disparities. We base our study on the assumptions that (1) the diffusion of information homogenizes regional economies through reducing the dissimilarities in institutions and culture, and (2) the telecommunication capacity, represented as the internet infrastructure of a region, facilitates this flow of information. Using the data from the 26 statistical regions of Turkey, we find evidence that internet infrastructure has contributed to regional convergence during the period 1999-2011. We also observe that the Turkish economic geography is defined by a strong core-periphery pattern and significant spatial clustering.

Key words: Convergence, Internet, Telecommunication, Infrastructure, Regions

JEL Classification: R12, L96, E20, H41, O18, O47

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