nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒05‒14
three papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime? By Bhuller, Manudeep; Havnes, Tarjei; Leuven, Edwin; Mogstad, Magne
  2. Tullock Challenges: happiness, revolutions and democracy By Bruno S. Frey
  3. ICT, Financial Inclusion, and Growth Evidence from African Countries By Kangni Kpodar; Mihasonirina Andrianaivo

  1. By: Bhuller, Manudeep (Statistics Norway); Havnes, Tarjei (University of Oslo); Leuven, Edwin (CREST (ENSAE)); Mogstad, Magne (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Does internet use trigger sex crime? We use unique Norwegian data on crime and internet adoption to shed light on this question. A public program with limited funding rolled out broadband access points in 2000-2008, and provides plausibly exogenous variation in internet use. Our instrumental variables and fixed effect estimates show that internet use is associated with a substantial increase in reported incidences of rape and other sex crimes. We present a theoretical framework that highlights three mechanisms for how internet use may affect reported sex crime, namely a reporting effect, a matching effect on potential offenders and victims, and a direct effect on crime propensity. Our results indicate that the direct effect is non-negligible and positive, plausibly as a result of increased consumption of pornography.
    Keywords: rape, sex crimes, instrumental variables, broadband, internet, pornography
    JEL: J13 H40 I28 D31
    Date: 2011–04
  2. By: Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: Gordon Tullock has been one of the most important founders and contributors to Public Choice. Two innovations are typical “Tullock Challenges”. The first relates to method: the measurement of subjective well-being, or happiness. The second relates to digital social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or to some extent Google. Both innovations lead to strong incentives by the governments to manipulate the policy consequences. In general “What is important, will be manipulated by the government”. To restrain government manipulation one has to turn to Constitutional Economics and increase the possibilities for direct popular participation and federalism, or introduce random mechanisms.
    Keywords: Happiness, social networks, constitutional economics, random mechanisms, public choice
    JEL: D72 H10 I31 P16 D02
    Date: 2011–04
  3. By: Kangni Kpodar; Mihasonirina Andrianaivo
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially mobile phone rollout, on economic growth in a sample of African countries from 1988 to 2007. Further, we investigate whether financial inclusion is one of the channels through which mobile phone development influences economic growth. In estimating the impact of ICT on economic growth, we use a wide range of ICT indicators, including mobile and fixed telephone penetration rates and the cost of local calls. We address any endogeneity issues by using the System Generalized Method of Moment (GMM) estimator. Financial inclusion is captured by variables measuring access to financial services, such as the number of deposits or loans per head, compiled by Beck, Demirguc-Kunt, and Martinez Peria (2007) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP, 2009). The results confirm that ICT, including mobile phone development, contribute significantly to economic growth in African countries. Part of the positive effect of mobile phone penetration on growth comes from greater financial inclusion. At the same time, the development of mobile phones consolidates the impact of financial inclusion on economic growth, especially in countries where mobile financial services take hold.
    Keywords: Africa , Cross country analysis , Developing countries , Economic growth , Information technology , Telephone systems ,
    Date: 2011–04–04

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