nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2010‒06‒26
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  2. Measuring transparency in public spending: Case of Czech Public e-Procurement Information System By Jana Chvalkovská; Jiří Skuhrovec
  3. A Multichannel Framework for Multimedia Content Deployment in e-Health Environments By Crescenzio Gallo; Lorenzo Cola; Fernando Triggiani
  4. Influence Networks By Dunia López-Pintado
  5. Is it Live or is it Internet? Experimental Estimates of the Effects of Online Instruction on Student Learning By David N. Figlio; Mark Rush; Lu Yin
  6. Innovation, R&D and Productivity in the Costa Rican ICT Sector: A Case Study By Ricardo Monges-Gonzalez; John Hewitt

  1. By: Rim Ben Ayed Mouelhi (Department of Economics, ISCAE, University of La Manouba, Tunisia)
    Abstract: This paper aims at measuring the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) use on the efficiency of the Tunisian manufacturing sector, at the firm level within a simple theoretical framework. We use a firm-level panel data for the manufacturing sector in Tunisia to investigate whether adoption of ICT influences efficiency in factors use. The analysis is conducted through the use of a parametric method to measure technical efficiency. We estimate a stochastic production frontier and the relationship aimed to explain technical efficiency differentials in a single stage as suggested by Battese and Coelli (1995). The results confirm the presence of positive returns to ICT capital. We find that the impact of ICT on efficiency is strong. Our results also suggest that it is important to carefully control for human capital related characteristics of employment when studying the effect of ICT. The evidence shows that achieving benefits from investment in ICT requires complementary investments and changes in human capital. This means that the combined use of ICT and human capital in a firm would enhance its efficiency beyond the direct effects of these factors taken alone.
    Date: 2009–10
  2. By: Jana Chvalkovská (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic); Jiří Skuhrovec (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyze the potential of e-Government tools to enable the general public to oversee spending of public institutions. The paper illustrates the “watchdog” potential of reducing corruption by means of providing information to the public on the example of the Czech Public e-Procurement Information System (further called System). The System is an Internet portal, where public authorities announce their intention to purchase goods and services. Such announcements are monitored by private entities that can compete for the respective public contract. For our paper we used a web robot to collect data about public procurements from the System and utilized them for construction of an original Transparency Index, which rates institutions that award public contracts (so called contracting authorities). The composite Index is constructed as a weighted sum of ten various transparency indicators, computed separately for each contracting authority. This Index could serve as an efficient benchmark for continuous control and comparison of public institutions in the area of public procurement and demonstrates how an e-Government tool can contribute to greater openness and accountability of these public institutions and to enhancement of the civic engagement in the control of governmental activities. The results of our research suggest that although the System is good step forward, its current structure does not enable the public to effectively exercise public control over procurements spending of contracting authorities, because of serious difficulties related to viewing (and extraction) of aggregate data. On the other hand, on example of our Transparency Index, we demonstrate that if the System allowed for easier access to data on public procurements, it would serve as an efficient tool of public control and facilitate open government initiatives.
    Keywords: public procurement, Transparency Index, efficient public control, open government, corruption
    JEL: H57 C43
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Crescenzio Gallo; Lorenzo Cola; Fernando Triggiani
    Abstract: Efficient and generalized deployment of rich multimedia contents is a challenging target that is becoming more and more important in the modern information society. In this work we first examine the technical background behind the general problem of multimedia content deployment. Then we study the architectural and technical choices and legal implications to be considered in order to build an effective client/server multimedia content deployment platform for the implementation and spreading of a series of services related both to the specific health environment (integration with the health information system) and the general educational (classroom lessons, on line participation and deferred streaming) and recreational facilities (such as TV and radio live and on demand streaming) and support activities (i.e. phone and video calls).
    Keywords: multimedia content, streaming platform, e-health information system.
    Date: 2010–03
  4. By: Dunia López-Pintado (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide and CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: Some behaviors, ideas or technologies spread and become persistent in society, whereas others vanish. This paper analyzes the role of social influence in determining such distinct collective outcomes. Agents are assumed to acquire information from others through a certain sampling process that generates an influence network and use simple rules to decide whether to adopt or not depending on the observed sample. The diffusion threshold (i.e., the spreading rate above which the behavior becomes persistent in the population) and the endemic state (i.e., the fraction of adopters in the stationary state of the dynamics) are characterized as a function of the primitives of the model. The results highlight the importance of the correlation between visibility and connectivity (or degree) for diffusion purposes.
    Keywords: social influence, networks, diffusion threshold, endemic state.
    JEL: C73 L14 O31 O33
    Date: 2010–06
  5. By: David N. Figlio; Mark Rush; Lu Yin
    Abstract: This paper presents the first experimental evidence on the effects of live versus internet media of instruction. Students in a large introductory microeconomics course at a major research university were randomly assigned to live lectures versus watching these same lectures in an internet setting, where all other factors (e.g., instruction, supplemental materials) were the same. Counter to the conclusions drawn by a recent U.S. Department of Education meta-analysis of non-experimental analyses of internet instruction in higher education, we find modest evidence that live-only instruction dominates internet instruction. These results are particularly strong for Hispanic students, male students, and lower-achieving students. We also provide suggestions for future experimentation in other settings.
    JEL: I20 I23
    Date: 2010–06
  6. By: Ricardo Monges-Gonzalez; John Hewitt
    Abstract: This paper addresses the relationships between innovation, research and development (R&D) and productivity in domestic ICT firms in Costa Rica. Factors considered were the types of innovation outputs produced by domestic ICT firms, the relative importance of innovation inputs, the impacts of innovation on firm productivity, the protection of innovations, and impediments to innovation. While most firms engaged in all types of output and input innovations, they appear to be driven by retaining or increasing market share rather than increasing productivity. Half of firms do not formally protect the intellectual property created by their innovations, are not familiar with methods for protecting innovation or the availability of government grants for such purposes, and face barriers associated with the Costa Rican Patent Office. Other impediments include lack of knowledge about financial resources available and scarcity of human resources. There is also evidence of knowledge spillovers through worker mobility from multinationals operating in Costa Rica to domestic ICT firms.
    Keywords: Research and development, Information communications technology, Innovation, Costa Rica
    JEL: L20 L63 L86 O31
    Date: 2010–06

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