The effect of broadband internet adoption on local labor markets
Ferree, Paul Edward.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. I investigate the impact of county-level broadband Internet adoption rates on county-level employment growth rates and unemployment rates. I use a cross section of county-level data for the U.S. from June 2009 with data on broadband connections per household, employment growth rates, unemployment rates, and various demographic variables for U.S. counties. In addition, I use an instrumental variables approach with two-stage least squares regressions to mitigate endogeneity between broadband adoption and the employment statistics. For the instrumental variables, I use population density and the percent of each county's population living in urban areas. I find that a high rate of broadband connectivity in a county raises that county's employment growth rate and decreases its unemployment rate, although the benefits of broadband connectivity decrease when a high percentage of people with bachelor's degrees are present. These results provide insight for policymakers who want to use broadband to improve labor markets. Policies that enable and encourage broadband adoption will likely have a positive impact on labor markets, although results should be monitored so that policymakers know when they begin to experience diminishing marginal returns.
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