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Digitalisation and the foundational economy: A digital opportunity or a digital divide for less-developed regions?

Laura Reynolds Orcid Logo, Dylan Henderson Orcid Logo, Gemma Xu Orcid Logo, Laura Norris Orcid Logo

Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, Volume: 36, Issue: 6, Pages: 451 - 467

Swansea University Author: Gemma Xu Orcid Logo

Abstract

The foundational economy’s heightened traction in academic and policy discussion stems in part from its potential to mitigate challenges faced by less-developed regions. While supporting foundational sectors may contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth, we question whether digitalisation can e...

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Published in: Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit
ISSN: 0269-0942 1470-9325
Published: SAGE Publications 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59281
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Abstract: The foundational economy’s heightened traction in academic and policy discussion stems in part from its potential to mitigate challenges faced by less-developed regions. While supporting foundational sectors may contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth, we question whether digitalisation can enable these aims. Through a case study of Wales, we point to the differences in digital capability of foundational and non-foundational businesses in urban and rural parts of the region. We show that while investment in digital infrastructure and digital technology use may support the foundational economy, digital barriers risk countering the benefits of its sectors’ embeddedness and exacerbating spatial divides.
Keywords: Foundational economy, digital divide, place-based policy, embeddedness, inclusive growth, digital capability
College: School of Management
Funders: Llywodraeth Cymru Identifier: FundRef 10.13039/100015846 European Regional Development Fund Identifier: FundRef 10.13039/501100008530
Issue: 6
Start Page: 451
End Page: 467