The Threefold Divergence of Socio-Economic Development in the Digital AgeBuchinskaia Olga
The paper examines the relationship between wealth, knowledge and digitalization as a source of growth in the wealth of countries and individuals. It analyses the interrelation of those factors at micro and macro levels. The study employs elements of logical, comparative, graphical, and correlation analysis. The study shows the links between the income gap, the knowledge gap and the digital divide, forming a poverty trap at the individual level. The author notes that on the micro level, it is necessary to have access to at least two of the three factors to increase wellbeing. The paper shows that all three of the above-mentioned factors are subject to the Matthew effect, and restrictions from major market players may increase the divergence of economic development. At the macro level, the relationship between GDP per capita, the knowledge index and the digital competitiveness index is shown. Two clusters of countries have been identified for the development of knowledge and digital competitiveness. The first cluster, with a high level of digital competitiveness and knowledge, consists mainly of developed countries with high per capita income and China, the second cluster includes mainly middle-income developing countries, as well as developed countries lacking a penetration of digital technologies and the development of knowledge. As a result of the correlation analysis, it was revealed that the dependence of GDP on the level of knowledge is greater than its dependence on the development of digital technologies. However, there is a noticeable relationship between the knowledge index and the digital competitiveness index. The author concludes with the indirect impact of digital technologies on well-being at the macro level through the development of knowledge. For the countries of the cluster, represented mainly by developing countries with average incomes, there is an increase in the interdependence between GDP per capita, the development of knowledge and digital technologies, which indicates the potential for the development of the countries of this cluster in the implementation of the policy of knowledge development and rational policy on digitalization. It is necessary to focus not on the use of borrowed technologies, but on the development of own digital solutions for which the advancement of the field of knowledge is critically necessary. The policy of the knowledge sphere development should focus on increasing the status of the scientist and teacher, strengthening the interaction between a scientist-teacher and student. It is necessary to shift the emphasis from simplifying the education system to developing the creative and research potential of the student and the subsequent implementation of the gained research skills in small and medium-sized businesses.