nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
three papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Information and Communication Technologies, Market Rigidities and Growth: Implications for EU Policies By Barrios, Salvador; Burgelman, Jean-Claude
  2. Immigrants, English Ability and the Digital Divide By Hiroshi Ono; Madeline Zavodny
  3. The Focusing and Informational Effects of Norms on Pro-Social Behavior By Erin Krupka; Roberto A. Weber

  1. By: Barrios, Salvador; Burgelman, Jean-Claude
    Abstract: The renewed Lisbon strategy puts special emphasis on the potential role that Information and Communication Technologies can play in meeting the challenges of boosting growth, competitiveness and cohesion throughout the EU. There is also a general understanding among policy makers that investment of this kind and its related economic benefits can only materialize if labour, capital, product and service markets are flexible enough to facilitate ICT investment and the re-organisation of economic activities. This paper provides evidence of the influence of market rigidities on the propensity to invest in ICT and on the economic return of ICT investment in a number of EU countries, and in the US and Japan. We provide evidence that indicates that market rigidities deter ICT investment and lower the impact of ICT on GDP growth by considering a number of indicators reflecting barriers to business creation and the degree of market regulation in labour and capital markets. These results are invariant, even when other potential determinants of ICT investments and ICT contribution to GDP growth such as the degree of specialisation in ICT-producing industries, past ICT investment, business cycles conditions and a measure of trade openness are controlled for. The paper provides a number of policy implications, most notably, regarding the role played by structural reforms in promoting both ICT adoption and setting the best framework conditions for ICT impact on GDP growth. While the renewed EU Lisbon strategy of economic reforms is badly needed to increase EU growth potential, we show here that this strategy is also needed to promote technological change in the EU economy.
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies; ICT; Growth; European Union; Lisbon Strategy
    JEL: E22 O33 E01
    Date: 2007–11–20
  2. By: Hiroshi Ono (Texas A&M University); Madeline Zavodny (Agnes Scott College and IZA)
    Abstract: This study examines the extent and causes of inequalities in information technology (IT) ownership and use between natives and immigrants in the U.S., focusing on the role of English ability. The results indicate that, during the period 1997-2003, immigrants were significantly less likely to have access to or use a computer and the Internet. Moreover, the gap in IT usage widened during that period. Immigrants (and natives) who live in Spanishspeaking households are less likely than individuals living in English-speaking households to have access to or use IT. Estimates using a measure of predicted English ability show that English ability is positively associated with IT access and use. The results suggest that much of the immigrant-native gap in IT usage is attributable to differences in English ability.
    Keywords: information technology, immigrants, English ability
    JEL: J61 F22 O33
    Date: 2007–10
  3. By: Erin Krupka (IZA); Roberto A. Weber (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: This paper reports an experiment examining the effect of social norms on pro-social behavior. We test two predictions derived from work in psychology regarding the influence of norms. The first is a "focusing"influence, whereby norms only impact behavior when an individual’s attention is drawn to them; and the second is an "informational" influence, whereby a norm exerts a stronger impact on an individual the more others he observes behaving consistently with that norm. We find support for both effects. Either thinking about or observing the behavior of others produces increased pro-social behavior - even when one expects or observes little pro-social behavior on the part of others - and the degree of prosocial behavior is increasing in the actual and expected pro-social behavior of others. This experiment eliminates strategic influences and thus demonstrates a direct effect of norms on behavior.
    Keywords: norms, pro-social behavior, experiments, dictator game
    JEL: D63 C91
    Date: 2007–11

This nep-ict issue is ©2007 by Walter Frisch. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.