The Impact of the Internet on Information Searching and Demand for Traditional Information Resources

The Internet is an efficient information search tool whose growth may have caused a structural change in information search and acquisition behaviors.

This study investigates the effects of growing Internet accessibility on these behaviors. Using U.S. public library circulation counts to quantify changes in the use of information resources, the analysis indicates that greater Internet accessibility contributes to increased demand for traditional information sources.

That is, a complementary relationship exists between Internet and traditional sources. Further, the results suggest that limiting Internet access can reduce the demand for traditional content. These outcomes imply that improvements in Internet accessibility can have profound effects on human capital development.