We propose the construction of a Digital Knowledge Economy Index, quantified by way of measuring content creation and participation through digital platforms, namely the code sharing platform GitHub, the crowdsourced encyclopaedia Wikipedia, and Internet domain registrations and estimating a fifth sub-index for the World Bank Knowledge Economy Index for year 2012. This approach complements conventional data sources such as national statistics and expert surveys and helps reflect the underlying digital content creation, capacities, and skills of the population. An index that combines traditional and novel data sources can provide a more revealing view of the status of the world’s digital knowledge economy and highlight where the (un)availability of digital resources may actually reinforce inequalities in the age of data.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in The Journal of Development Studies, v. 55, issue 12.

© 2019 The Author(s)

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013) [grant number 335716] and The Alan Turing Institute [grant number TU/C/000020].

Related Content

The data and code used in this article can be obtained by contacting the authors.

fjds_a_1554208_sm5827.pdf (261 kB)
Supplemental material: The Digital Knowledge Economy Index: Mapping Content Production