Journal Title

National Center for Digital Government Working Paper Series





Publication Date



What role does environment play in influencing information technology access and skills – over and above individual characteristics such as income, education, race, and ethnicity? One of the puzzles that emerged from our recent research on the “digital divide” was that African-Americans, and to a lesser extent, Latinos, had more positive attitudes toward information technology than similarly-situated whites. And yet, African-Americans and Latinos are less likely to have information technology access and skills, even when controlling for other factors such as income and education (Mossberger, Tolbert and Stansbury 2003). The research presented in this paper takes a first step toward explaining this paradox by unraveling the impact of place.