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Is Sustainable Economic Development Possible Thanks to the Deployment of ICT?

Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
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Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6307; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226307
Received: 1 October 2019 / Revised: 2 November 2019 / Accepted: 4 November 2019 / Published: 10 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
Achieving sustainable economic development is one of humanity’s greatest challenges, and, in this regard, the United Nations has promoted a line of research based on sustainable economic development. In view of this, our study focused on the sustainable economic development of nations, specifically, development through the deployment of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Academic researchers recognize the importance of ICT for economic and sustainable development, but there is controversy in the literature regarding two opposing points of view. First, there is a view that advances in ICT support Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, while, on the other hand, the view is that there is no relationship between these two factors. In view of this, we conducted a study where the objective was to determine whether investing in ICT contributes to sustainable economic development (measured by the GDP per capita) of European Union countries. We used Eurostat data and applied the partial least-squares (PLS) method to address the study. This approach allowed us to analyze European Union countries from 2014 to 2017, using fairly rigorous data. The most outstanding result was that ICT accounted for most of the explained variance in GDP per capita (GDPpp), and, specifically, the most representative indicator was “digital public services.” Therefore, we concluded that investing in the deployment of ICT supports the sustainable economic development of European Union countries. These countries should focus on investing in improved connectivity in areas with poor communications, as well as in training area inhabitants in the use and development of ICT to obtain greater development using these tools and technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: ICT; sustainable development; GDPpp; European Union; PLS ICT; sustainable development; GDPpp; European Union; PLS
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Fernández-Portillo, A.; Almodóvar-González, M.; Coca-Pérez, J.L.; Jiménez-Naranjo, H.V. Is Sustainable Economic Development Possible Thanks to the Deployment of ICT? Sustainability 2019, 11, 6307.

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