This paper tests whether or not adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT) has offset agglomeration benefits and led to more dispersed spatial structures worldwide. The paper returns to Ioannides et al. (2008) and confirms, first by relying on the Pareto (Zipf) coefficient of the city size distribution as a proxy of spatial dispersion, that the diffusion of fixed telephony has caused more dispersed urban structures worldwide, in other words, greater urban decentralization. Similar causal effects are established for mobile telephony, which are novel, and the internet, which extend previous research. They are confirmed for such alternative measures of dispersion as the Gini coefficient, the Herfindahl index, and the coefficient of variation.
- Jean Golding
- spatial structure
- information and communication technologies