Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

How do digital technologies affect human well-being?

The Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center has published the 12th issue of the scientific digest. It presents the results of a comparative study of the conditions created for the impact of digital technologies on well-being and quality of life in Russia and the OECD, carried out by the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (HSE University).

How do digital technologies affect human well-being?

Researchers have been interested in the impact of digital technologies on humans for decades. The authors of the digest (Olga Demidkina, Konstantin Vishnevsky) found out that there is a direct relationship between public concern about the negative consequences of information and communication technologies and the emergence of new scientific research on how digital technologies affect human well-being. Today, the research environment is dominated by qualitative assessments, one of which is presented in the OECD study How’s Life in Digital Age, which compares the parameters of digital well-being in OECD countries based on the Better Life Index.

For a detailed study, specialists from the HSE ISSEK have developed their own concept of the Digital Well-Being Conditions Index, which makes it possible to compare the conditions created in Russia for the use of digitalization opportunities with the average indicators of OECD countries. The comparison was made in five areas that are significant for the quality of life of the vast majority of people (access to ICT, education, employment, access to services and socialization), using 16 indicators, 11 of which suggest a positive impact of digital technologies on human well-being (“opportunities”), and 5 - negative impact ("risks").

Based on the results of the assessment, it was revealed that the conditions for receiving "dividends" of digitalization are generally comparable to those created in OECD countries (on average), slightly inferior in a number of parameters. The most problematic indicators include the digital skills gap and the underutilization of the Internet for distance learning and employment (compared to residents of OECD countries).

The conditions created in Russia and in the OECD for the possibility of using e-government services are comparable, although the proportion of the population that does not have sufficient skills to use public services online is slightly higher than the OECD average in our country.

At the same time, the opportunities provided by digitalization to improve the quality of life can be expanded and risks reduced by improving the access of the population to ICT (especially mobile broadband access), as well as increasing digital literacy and developing digital skills of the population.

NCMU Scientific Digest Project managed by Olga Voron.

Digest No. 12 is available via the link