While most studies on the digital divide in the United States focus on disparities in access to computers and the Internet, this study examines the digital divide in Internet information searching. With data from 476 Vermont households surveyed in 2009, a double-hurdle model is used to identify the factors that impact the likelihood and frequency of using the Internet for information searching. Empirical results suggest that there are significant disparities in both the likelihood and frequency of online information searching in Vermont and that these disparities are closely associated with several socioeconomic and demographic factors such as education level, income, and age. Also, the impacts of some variables on the likelihood to use the Internet to search for information are different from their impacts on the frequency of using the Internet for information searching. These research findings are expected to be useful when developing programs and policies for reducing the digital divide.
© 2010 The Authors and First Monday
Zhang G, Wang Q, Kolodinsky J. The digital divide in Internet information searching: A double-hurdle model analysis of household data from Vermont. First Monday. 2010 Nov 8.