Digital technologies have spread rapidly in much of the world. Digital dividends — that is, the broader development benefits from using these technologies — have lagged behind. In many instances, digital technologies have boosted growth, expanded opportunities, and improved service delivery. Yet their aggregate impact has fallen short and is unevenly distributed. For digital technologies to benefit everyone everywhere requires closing the remaining digital divide, especially in internet access. But greater digital adoption will not be enough. To get the most out of the digital revolution, countries also need to work on the “analog complements” – by strengthening regulations that ensure competition among businesses, by adapting workers’ skills to the demands of the new economy, and by ensuring that institutions are accountable.
World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends explores the impact of the internet, mobile phones, and related technologies on economic development.
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