nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2010‒01‒16
three papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. A Poisson Regression Examination of the Relationship between Website Traffic and Search Engine Queries By Tierney, Heather L.R.; Pan, Bing
  2. Age-appropriate information technology on the advance: Putting paid to olden times By Heng, Stefab
  3. The Need for Speed: Impacts of Internet Connectivity on Firm Productivity By Arthur Grimes; Cleo Ren; Philip Stevens

  1. By: Tierney, Heather L.R.; Pan, Bing
    Abstract: A new area of research involves the use of Google data, which has been normalized and scaled to predict economic activity. This new source of data holds both many advantages as well as disadvantages, which are discussed through the use of daily and weekly data. Daily and weekly data are employed to show the effect of aggregation as it pertains to Google data, which can lead to contradictory findings. In this paper, Poisson regressions are used to explore the relationship between the online traffic to a specific website and the search volumes for certain keyword search queries, along with the rankings of that specific website for those queries. The purpose of this paper is to point out the benefits and the pitfalls of a potential new source of data that lacks transparency in regards to the original level data, which is due to the normalization and scaling procedures utilized by Google.
    Keywords: Poisson Regression; Search Engine; Google Insights; Aggregation; Normalization Effects; Scaling Effects
    JEL: C43 D83 C25
    Date: 2009–11–05
  2. By: Heng, Stefab
    Abstract: Ageing society opens up enormous economic potential. Whereas for a long time social interpretation homed in on the doomsday scenarios of demographic change, it is the economic potential that is now emerging with increasing clarity. Information and communication technologies stand a good chance of benefiting from this trend. Older people are not intrinsically technology refuseniks, as evidenced by the growing number of silver agers using the internet. Successful products will be far removed from disenfranchisement and stigmatisation. The challenge to product developers and marketing strategists is to create age-appropriate offers that older people do not perceive as encroaching on their autonomy or pointing up their physical infirmities. Particularly promising are offers enabling barrier-free use without seeming like segregational solutions for specific age groups. User friendliness, value systems and the legal framework are currently stymieing yet wider success. Technical fascination aside, the business potential hinges directly on regulations concerning data protection, teletreatment and cost reimbursement, on user friendliness and society’s attitude towards the application of robotics in medicine and healthcare. The tasks involved are enormous. Product developers, marketing strategists, physicians, nurses and carers, politicians and older people in need of help themselves must be prepared to take the new routes. Assistance systems, e-Health and health games benefit from demographic change. The range of offers is highly diversified. They extend from ‘intelligent’ tablet dispensers, emergency bio sensor technology in motor vehicles and motion sensor technology through tele-monitoring and online consultations to brain jogging and exercise games.
    Keywords: demographics; technology;ICT; e-Health; games; AAL; assistance systems
    JEL: L96 J14 D12 L86 J26 J11
    Date: 2009–12–29
  3. By: Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research & University of Waikato); Cleo Ren (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Philip Stevens (Ministry of Economic Development)
    Abstract: Fast internet access is widely considered to be a productivity-enhancing factor. Internet access speeds vary regionally within countries and even within cities. Despite articulate pleas for network upgrades to accelerate internet access, there is little rigorous research quantifying benefits to individual firms that arise from upgraded internet connectivity. We use a large New Zealand micro-survey of firms linked to unit record firm financial data to determine the impact that differing types of internet access have on firm productivity. Propensity score matching is used to control for factors, including the firm’s (lagged) productivity, that determine firms’ internet access choices. Having matched firms, we examine the productivity impacts that arise when a firm adopts different types (speeds) of internet connectivity. Broadband adoption is found to boost productivity but we find no productivity differences across broadband type. The results provide the first firm-level estimates internationally of the degree of productivity gains sourced from upgraded internet access.
    Keywords: Internet, broadband, productivity
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2009

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