Determinants of the digital divide (Case study: Rafsanjan citizens)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof., Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Prof., Faculty of Administrative Science and Economics, Vali-e-asr University, Rafsanjan, Iran

3 MSc. Student in Public Administration, Faculty of Administrative Science and Economics, Vali-e-asr University, Rafsanjan, Iran


In the last two decades, digital divide, defined as the gap between the people who can access PCs and internet and those who cannot, has been proposed as one of the biggest challenges of digital age. Considering that the economic, cultural, social, and political by-products of such a gap are viewed by many scholars to be more damaging than traditional gaps, the present research strives to detect the factors affecting this gap in Rafsanjan city. The present paper  is correlational in terms of nature, and applied in terms of objective, using descriptive-survey method for data collection. Using cluster sampling, the situation of 501 citizens, selected randomly, was analyzed using structural equation modelling. The results indicate that economic and infrastructural factors affect the gap directly, while culture acts as a mediator that affects the gap via motivational access. Comparing different factors reveal that the cultural factor is more significant than economic and infrastructural factors. All the investigated variables can explain 55.3 percent of the physical access variation.


Main Subjects

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