Digital and economic transformations for sustainable development promotion: A case of OECD countries


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Digitalization, dematerialization of production and consumption, and structural shifts in the direction of service economy forming do promote to reduction of material use and sustainable development. The paper aims to investigate the role of digital, structural, economic, and social factors in sustainable development promotion in OECD countries. The paper uses the data on digital achievements, social and economic development of OECD member states from World Bank data sources for the period 2007–2018. The random-effects GLS regression model is used, and empirical regression models to estimate the influence of key factors related to digital transformation on GDP per capita and CO2 emissions per capita are constructed. The results of the regression analysis show that using the number of Internet users as an indicator for achievement in digitalization has a positive and statistically significant influence on GDP per capita due to lower transaction costs and higher share service economy. An increase in urbanization rates (as an indicator of capital concentrations and labor specialization) by one percent promotes a GDP per capita increase of 299 USD. Also, an increase in Gini coefficient by one percentage point correlates with decrease in GDP per capita on 196 USD and the reduction of CO2 per capita by 0.12 tones due to the structural shifts in aggregate demand. Still, improvements in digital transformations have no significant environmental effect in OECD members, while processes related to urbanization, income inequality, and share of industrial output are important drivers for CO2 per capita reduction.

The paper contains the results of a study conducted within the framework of research projects: “Sustainable development and resource security: from disruptive technologies to digital transformation of Ukrainian economy” (No. 0121U100470); “Fundamental bases of the phase transition to an additive economy: from disruptive technologies to institutional sociologization of decisions” (No. 0121U109557).

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    • Table 1. Impact of digital factors on GDP per capita (in constant prices)
    • Table 2. Impact of digital factors on CO2 emissions per capita
    • Conceptualization
      Leonid Melnyk
    • Funding acquisition
      Leonid Melnyk, Larysa Rybina
    • Methodology
      Leonid Melnyk, Oleksandr Kubatko
    • Supervision
      Leonid Melnyk
    • Writing – original draft
      Leonid Melnyk, Vladyslav Piven
    • Formal Analysis
      Oleksandr Kubatko, Larysa Rybina
    • Investigation
      Oleksandr Kubatko, Vladyslav Piven, Larysa Rybina
    • Project administration
      Oleksandr Kubatko
    • Resources
      Oleksandr Kubatko
    • Visualization
      Oleksandr Kubatko, Vladyslav Piven
    • Writing – review & editing
      Oleksandr Kubatko, Kyrylo Klymenko, Larysa Rybina
    • Data curation
      Vladyslav Piven, Kyrylo Klymenko
    • Software
      Kyrylo Klymenko, Larysa Rybina
    • Validation
      Kyrylo Klymenko, Larysa Rybina