Luohan Academy’s research reports represent the results of formal investigations into a myriad of topics and research directions involving the impact of digital technology on society. Our reports follow an intensive research process and are subject to the highest academic rigor.
This report highlights potential positive impacts of digital technology on inclusive growth - growth that is broad-based and offers opportunities and protections for all. Throughout history, technological progress has always been the fundamental driver of progress, but the transition to new technology can be bumpy. Digital revolution is no exception, but it stands out from previous technological revolutions for two reasons: a low threshold for the adoption and penetration of digital technology, and the low use cost and non-rival nature of digitized information. These characteristics have profound implications for digital technology’s impact on inclusion.
By grounding theoretical logic in empirical evidence, this report offers several lessons for how to harness digital technology. 1) Digital technology can be an important driver of inclusive growth. 2) To promote digital penetration, lowering the skill threshold is as important as raising the level of skills. 3) Digital platforms represent new forms of exchange and coordination that facilitate economic and social integration. 4) But effective digital penetration is not automatic; it requires an effective partnership between the public and private sectors. 5) Managing unanticipated challenges such as data privacy and inequality is a complex task, but we can start by separating fact from fiction and fear.
In sum, digital technology greatly reduces adoption lags and lifts penetration rates for less developed countries and regions, thus enlarging growth opportunities for us all. Despite many challenges, a new development paradigm is emerging, one that is inclusive, sustainable, and may not require massive investments up front.
(Executive summary is available online, and the full report is coming soon)