Journal section "Science, technology and innovation studies"

Knowledge as a Mediator in the Relationship between Digital and Economic Development

Buchinskaia O.N.

Volume 15, Issue 6, 2022

Buchinskaia O.N. (2022). Knowledge as a mediator in the relationship between digital and economic development. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(6), 139–152. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.6.84.8

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.6.84.8

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
Modern development of the digital economy urges society to address not only the global issue of socio-economic inequality, but also the problem of digital inequality, since the level of development of digital technology largely affects labor productivity and, accordingly, national GDP. In this dichotomy of inequality, the sphere of knowledge plays an important role, since it is knowledge that allows us to unlock the full potential of digital technology for the economic system. The aim of the work is to identify the role of knowledge as a mediator in the relationship between the level of development of digital technology and GDP in different countries. The study used data from the Global Knowledge Index, Network Readiness Index and Digital Competitiveness Ranking in their relationship with GDP per capita. We analyzed the results of two models containing data sets for 64 countries for five years and 134 countries for three years; thus, we revealed the influence of the digital competitiveness and network readiness indices, as well as their constituent sub-indices characterizing certain aspects of development of the digital economy, on GDP. Scientific novelty of the study consists in the fact that it reveals the absence of the influence of knowledge on the relationship between GDP per capita and the penetration of digital technology into the national economy. We prove that indicators based on the spread and penetration of technology into the economy cannot objectively reflect the possibilities of economic development in the process of digitalization. It is necessary to focus on indicators reflecting the development and dissemination of national technologies; this requires an increase in the level of knowledge. We find that the level of knowledge development has a significant impact on the possibility of using digital technology to achieve the goals of sustainable development and organize effective management of digitalization. Otherwise, the impact of digital technology on economic development will be much less than the potentially possible level. The results of our study can be used by national governments to develop a strategy to overcome the digital divide and bridge a socio-economic gap between countries


sustainable development, socio-economic development, digital economy, economic inequality, digitalization, digital divide, knowledge gap, mediation effect

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