Industry News

Digital world a divider, not uniter

Computer usage creates material well-being, productivity gains for some

Instead of uniting us, the digital world divides us. That's the finding of a new study released by the Economic Research and Data division of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The research found that computer usage has important implications for material well-being and that productivity gains in the United States in the 1990s can be partially tied to the explosion of computer technology in the workplace. The findings show education is the biggest determinant of computer usage, followed by income level and racial/ethnic group. Understanding this trend is key for the real estate industry because minorities and immigrants represent the biggest source of new home buyers. Increasingly, home buyers depend on such technology as listings on the Internet to find and buy homes. So what does that say about those without access or skills to use computer technology? The federal government in September 2001 released the Computer and Internet Use Supplement as part of its monthly Curre...