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OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015

image of OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015

The digital economy now permeates countless aspects of the world economy, impacting sectors as varied as banking, retail, energy, transportation, education, publishing, media or health. Information and Communication Technologies are transforming the ways social interactions and personal relationships are conducted, with fixed, mobile and broadcast networks converging, and devices and objects increasingly connected to form the Internet of things.

This report assesses how countries can maximise the potential of the digital economy as a driver for innovation and inclusive growth, and discusses the evolutions in the digital economy that policy makers need to consider as well as the emerging challenges they need to address as a part of national digital strategies. Chapters include an overview of the current status and outlook of the digital economy; the main trends in the ICT sector, and developments in communication and regulation policy; and overviews of ICT demand and adoption, plus the effects of the digital economy on growth and development. This volume also includes a chapter on developments related to trust in the digital economy and on the emerging Internet of things.

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The growing and expanding digital economy

The digital economy transcends the ICT sector. While the Internet, broadband, mobile applications and IT services constitute its foundations, the digital economy today encompasses all sectors of the economy and society. The ways in which individuals use ICT goods and services affect the benefits they receive from the digital economy. The success and growth of firms is also crucially dependent on their capability to compete in the new economic environment, which ICTs are helping to shape. Despite the universal availability of ICTs, their use continues to differ across firms, individuals and countries. Difference in age and education significantly affect how people use the Internet. Differences in firm size and market characteristics influence the diffusion of e-business. This chapter looks at ICT usage by individuals and firms, the emergence of new sectors and new business models, and the overall contribution of the digital economy to growth and employment.

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