This paper describes the space-time dynamics of the European digital divide. The frequencies of internet and E-commerce use are considered, along with a broad range of indicators associated with the European digital single market strategy. This paper aims to investigate the spatial structure underlying these aggregate outcome indicators. An exploratory spatial data analysis is conducted in a sample of 209 regions using Eurostat data. Strong evidence for both global and local spatial autocorrelation is found for the years 2011–2016. Consistently, a North-South polarization scheme is identified with little statistical significance in the centre of Europe. This contrasts with the high income cluster found in central Europe, while low values for digital indices and income are co-located more consistently in the South, but also in the North-East. Highlights from the specific results include: areas surrounding London as a dynamic high value cluster in E-commerce, Italy to conduct few cross-border purchases, France as a consistent adopter of E-governance, and broadband rates in general to closely reflect online activities.
Bibliographical noteJEL classification: L96 018 033 052 R11 R12 R58
- Digital divide
- Exploratory spatial data analysis
- Policy benchmarks