No. 662 - Digitalisation in Italy: evidence from a new regional index

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by Andrea Benecchi, Carlo Bottoni, Emanuela Ciapanna, Annalisa Frigo, Aldo Milan and Elisa ScarinziDecember 2021

The paper proposes an index measuring the level of digitalization of the economy and society in Italy at the regional level, rDESI, based on the DESI 2020 methodology of the European Commission. Compared to the existing attempts to replicate the DESI index at sub-national level, our indicator uses new data sources and more granular series. The paper also contributes to the methodological debate on the DESI, highlighting its limits and proposing some areas for improvement.

The index highlights a gap between the regions of the Center-North and the South; this gap is mainly due to the sub-indicators measuring digital skills and internet usage in the population. The delay in the South also emerges in the firm's integration of digital technologies, although partially mitigated by a high adoption of e-commerce. The geographical variability is higher for the demand indicators than for the supply ones.

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