This article examines whether there are differences in men's and women's use of the Internet and whether any such gender gaps have changed in recent years. The authors use data from several surveys during the period 1997 to 2001 to show trends in Internet usage and to estimate regression models of Internet usage that control for individuals' socioeconomic characteristics. They find that women were significantly less likely than men to use the Internet at all in the mid-1990s, but the gender gap in usage disappeared by 2000. However, women continue to be less frequent and less intense users of the Internet. The results suggest that there is little reason for concern about sex inequalities in Internet access and usage now, but gender differences in frequency and intensity of Internet usage remain.
JEL classification: J16, O3
Key words: Internet, computers, sex, gender
The authors thank Robert L. Lineberry for helpful comments; Junichiro Miyabe, Juro Toda, and Wayne Parsons for assistance with the Nomura data set; and the Nomura Research Institute for access to their data. The views expressed here are those of the authors' and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors' responsibility.
Please address questions regarding content to Hiroshi Ono, European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden, 46-8-736-9367, Hiroshi.Ono@hhs.se, or Madeline Zavodny, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309-4470, 404-498-8977, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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