nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒05‒30
four papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. More bits - more bucks? Measuring the impact of broadband internet on firm performance By Bertschek, Irene; Cerquera, Daniel; Klein, Gordon J.
  2. Search Costs and Risky Investment in Quality By Arthur Fishman; Nadav Levy
  3. Geographical information systems technologies for spatial visualization of statistical data By Dardala, Marian; Reveiu, Adriana
  4. Virtual customer service agents: Using social presence and personalization to shape online service encounters By Verhagen, T.; Nes, J.G. van; Feldberg, J.F.M.; Dolen, W.M. van

  1. By: Bertschek, Irene; Cerquera, Daniel; Klein, Gordon J.
    Abstract: The paper provides empirical evidence for the causal impact of broadband Internet on the economic performance of German firms. Performance is measured in terms of labour productivity and realised process and product innovations. The analysis refers to the early phase of DSL expansion in Germany from 2001 to 2003, when roughly 60 percent of the German firms already used broadband Internet. Identification relies on instrumental variable estimation taking advantage of information on the availability of DSL broadband at the postal code level. The results show that broadband Internet has no impact on firms' labour productivity whereas it exhibits a positive and significant impact on their innovation activity. --
    Keywords: labour productivity,innovation,broadband Internet
    JEL: L23 O31
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Arthur Fishman (Bar-Ilan University); Nadav Levy (IDC Herzliya)
    Abstract: One striking development associated with the explosion of e-commerce is the increased transparency of sellers' quality history. In this paper we analyze how this affects fi…rms' incentives to invest in quality when the outcome of investment is uncertain. We identify two conflicting effects. On the one hand, reducing the consumer's cost of search for quality exacerbates the negative effects of past poor performance. This increases incentives to invest, leading to higher quality. On the other hand, the fact that a fi…rm, despite its best efforts, may fail to live up to consumers' more demanding expectations, makes investment less attractive. This discourages investment, leading to lower quality. We show that reducing the search cost leads to higher quality if the initial level of the search cost is sufficiently high but may lead to lower quality if the initial level of the search cost is sufficiently low.
    Keywords: search, internet search, quality, risky investment
    JEL: D83 L15
    Date: 2011–03
  3. By: Dardala, Marian; Reveiu, Adriana
    Abstract: This paper proposes an original solution to present statistical data using the facilities provided by the Geographical Information Systems, to improve the means of statistical data figure and distribution inside the territorial profile. The proposed solution allows to represent more statistical data sets, on the same map, using two different methods of data representation: using a color ramp to represent the territorial distribution of an aggregate indicator and a set of charts overlapped to represent the proportions of the variables that form the indicator.
    Keywords: Geographical Information Systems; Spatial Visualization; ArcObjects; Cartograms
    JEL: R12
    Date: 2011–05–02
  4. By: Verhagen, T.; Nes, J.G. van; Feldberg, J.F.M.; Dolen, W.M. van
    Date: 2011

This nep-ict issue is ©2011 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.