Drivers of E-business activity in developed and emerging markets

Dante Di Gregorio, Suleiman K. Kassicieh, R. De Gouvea Neto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the results of an empirical analysis of the determinants of e-business activity across a sample of 26 developed countries and 52 emerging markets. Several "e-readiness" indicators predict actual e-business activity, including Internet infrastructure, computer infrastructure, affordable telephone service, literacy rates, English language capabilities, and logistics infrastructure. No support was found for a linkage between e-business and institutional factors (i.e., country risk, economic freedom, and transparency) or payment infrastructure. Moreover, evidence of path dependence suggests that sustainable first-mover advantages are conveyed upon early adopters of Internet technologies. Important regional differences also exist, with Asia leading other emerging markets and Eastern Europe lagging. Finally, analysis of a subsample of countries suggests that entrepreneurship rates drive e-business activity. The results document the persistence of the global digital divide and support a broad view of e-readiness, whereby a country's e-business activity depends not only upon information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure but also upon human capital and logistics infrastructure. The absence of a link between institutional factors and e-business suggests that e-business arises not only when supporting economic institutions exist but also as a means of overcoming inadequate institutional conditions.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • statistical analysis of e-commerce parameters
  • Determinants of e-business activity
  • digital divide
  • e-business policy for countries
  • e-commerce issues
  • emerging markets
  • entrepreneurship and e-business
  • models of e-commerce usage


  • Economics

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