Digital revolution race

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The big picture: Current level of digital development (y-axis) and rate of development (x-axis). Source: Fletcher School at Tufts University/Livemint.com.

According to a recent study, the Nordic countries are the world’s most advanced digital economies – but they will have to shape up in order to remain in the lead.

The research is based on more than 170 indicators, includes 60 countries, and measures country progress since 2008. The score, which the researchers called the Digital Evolution Index, quantifies the interplay between demand and supply within the digital economy, the level of support provided by governments and institutions and the pace of innovation.

“The advantages largely come down to political will and greater coordination in the digital environment”, said Bhaskar Chakravorti, senior associate dean of international business and finance at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. For example, the greater emphasis on broadband access in countries like Norway and Finland, the first to make it a legal right, is partly why they have climbed to the top of the digital scoreboard.

While those results may give the Nordic countries a reason to be pleased with their own performance, it does not show the complex picture. The same study scores countries not only on the current level of digital development, but also on their rate of development. While the Nordic countries score high as developed digital economies, they have a low rate of digital evolution. If the Nordics want to stay in the lead they will need to put more effort into innovation.

India is ranked as number 53 when looking at the Digital Evolution Index score, but when combined with the rate of development, the study places India in the break out zone, where “digital economy has been given high priority” by policymakers.

The study was conducted by Fletcher School at Tufts University and Mastercard Inc.

Story sourced from Business Insider Nordic and Livemint.