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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Prof Jason Shachat

Huang, H., Keser, C., Leland, J. & Shachat, J. (2003). Trust, the Internet, and the digital divide. IBM Systems Journal 42(3): 507-518.

Author(s) from Durham


The Internet is expected to have a positive impact on economic growth, and its adoption rate will determine the extent of this impact. In this paper, we examine how differences in willingness to trust influence Internet adoption rates across countries. We show that trust has a statistically significant influence on levels of Internet penetration across countries. We also show that success in increasing Internet adoption rates through policies to promote trust will depend on a country's current level of trust, such that differences in trust may produce a digital divide among nations. Since low-trust countries tend to be of low or middle income, this digital divide between countries may translate into a developmental divide.