Overall blog summary of this work on the Development Implications of the Digital Economy (DIODE) blog
1) Scoping/Global policy study
The global economy is experiencing major technological shifts, with the rise of digital technology a key driver. These shifts are likely to intensify in coming years with new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and autonomous vehicles.
In this context, developing and emerging economies face a serious challenge. The digital economy provides an opportunity to leapfrog and achieve economic and technological catch-up through using digital technologies and building capacities in the digital economy.
However, technological shifts also threaten to widen the technological divide, with advanced economies reducing further the value added in developing and emerging economies and making ongoing catch-up efforts ineffective.
This discussion paper aims to provide an overall framework for examining these challenges in more detail, exploring the current state of policy around the digital economy and digital trade
2) Country case studies
Azmeh, S. & Foster, C. (2018) Bridging the Digital Divide And Supporting Increased Digital Trade: Country Case Studies, Discussion Paper, GEG Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.
Discussion paper | Policy brief
This paper explores policy experiences in the digital economy and digitalisation through a detailed study of two selected countries, Brazil and Indonesia. This critical analysis provides insights into how policymakers can regulate and deal with the challenges of the emerging digital economy.
Overall, digital policy directions in these two countries have much in common. While both countries already have core digital regulation and infrastructure in place, policymakers are working to refine policy to ensure that it fits with the changing needs of the digital economy and digitalisation.
Both countries are moving beyond market-enabling policies to focus on a number of strategic areas through interventionist policies, rather than allowing a relatively passive diffusion of technology and knowledge. Not all of these initiatives have been effective and some carry costs, but in certain areas they have been associated with more vibrant local sectors that are helping increase local economic value added.
The two cases highlight the need to combine regulations that enable the expansion of digital markets with more interventionist policies that build capacities in the digital economy and improve domestic value-added capture.