Revisiting the development trajectory of the digital divide: A main path analysis approach

Shu Chun Liao, Tzu Chuan Chou, Chen Hao Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The nature of the digital divide reflects inequalities in digital utilization, which is understood to be a multidimensional phenomenon encompassing accessibility to ICTs, capabilities to use digital technologies, and the benefits from digital artifact usage. However, the growing fabric of the digital divide has changed the original conception of the phenomenon. To trace the dynamic nature of the digital divide, this study adopted key-route main path analysis (MPA) to track the most significant development trajectory from 2855 digital divide-related academic articles and the multiple global MPA to explore the present and future research trends. This study reviewed the major challenges of the digital divide and divided the path into three phases: ICTs connection, ICTs use, and ICTs affordance. In analyzing the main paths of the digital divide, we found three forms, including coverage of communication infrastructure, skills to use ICT devices, and an individual's online behaviors. This study, through key-route MPA, further proposes a practical framework, which provides an inclusive approach to dealing with the digital-related social exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121607
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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