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Institutional and Welfare Aspects of the Provision and Use of Information and Communication Technologies in the Rural Areas of Bangladesh and Peru


Shyamal Chowdhury

Information and communication technologies, henceforth ICTs, have received enormous attention in recent times. During the decade of the 90s, there was a significant expansion in ICT infrastructure both in the context of industrialized and developing countries. Notwithstanding these facts, a ‘digital divide’ exists between industrialized and developing nations and between urban-rich and rural-poor within nations. The present study addressed this issue under four research questions. The first is why access to ICTs is important. The second is how to provide access for the households living in rural areas of developing countries. The third is what are the direct welfare implications of the use of telecommunications. And the fourth is what are the indirect welfare implications of the use of telecommunications. The study addressed these four issues under two aspects: institutional aspects and welfare aspects. The study focused on these two aspects in the context of rural areas of Bangladesh and Peru. The empirical findings of the study are based on household surveys that were conducted in the rural areas of the two study countries.
Contents: ICTs – Institutional aspects of provision – Welfare aspects of use – Business-NGO partnership – Public-Private partnership – Compensating variations – Willingness to pay for rural telecommunication services – Transaction costs and households’ market participation – Information and rural middlemen.