nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒06‒25
four papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Broadband Infrastructure and Unemployment - Evidence for Germany By Czernich, Nina
  2. e-voicing an opinion on a brand By Claire Roederer; Marc Filser
  4. Privacy and Innovation By Avi Goldfarb; Catherine Tucker

  1. By: Czernich, Nina
    Abstract: Online job search is becoming increasingly prominent and is viewed to improve the efficiency of the search process. OLS results suggest a negative association of DSL availability with unemployment rates across German municipalities. However, the roll-out of DSL networks is not random. This paper exploits the fact that the availability of DSL connections depends on a municipality’s distance to the closest interconnection point to the pre-existing voice-telephony network. Instrumental-variable results using this distance as an instrument for DSL availability do not confirm the effect of DSL availability on unemployment.
    Keywords: Unemployment; job search; broadband internet
    JEL: J64 L96
    Date: 2011–06
  2. By: Claire Roederer (HUMANIS - Université de Strasbourg); Marc Filser (LEG - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion - CNRS : UMR5118 - Université de Bourgogne)
    Abstract: The development of social networks has tremendously expanding the potential for consumers to express opinions and ratings regarding brands. This research explores this phenomenon from the consumer point of view and suggests potential research themes for further investigation.
    Keywords: Internet; social networks; brands
    Date: 2011–06–16
  3. By: Elisa Birch (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia); Phil Hancock (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: The use of online lecture recordings as a supplement to physical lectures is an increasingly popular tool at many universities. As its popularity grows, however, there is increasing evidence that some students are using these recordings as a substitute to attending the actual lectures, rather than as a complement that helps them revisit difficult content, or for study purposes. Does this trend matter? If students receive as much (if not more) benefit from viewing their lectures online as they do by attending in person, then this is surely the student’s right. However, this has potentially significant consequences for the delivery of lecture content in higher education. This paper combines survey data with student record data for students in a first year Microeconomics class to examine this issue. The main finding is that, whilst there are indeed some students using online lecture recordings as a substitute to attending lectures, they are ultimately at a fairly severe disadvantage in terms of their final marks. Controlling for a wide variety of student characteristics, we find that, relative to attending zero to six lectures (out of 26), those attending essentially all lectures in person (25 or 26 lectures) have a direct advantage of nearly eight marks. Moreover, students attending zero to six lectures do not close this gap by viewing more lectures online, despite having double the number of lecture recording hits as their colleagues who attended 25-26 lectures. In contrast to this, students who attend the majority of lectures in person do receive a benefit from additional use of the lecture recordings. The results provide evidence that, when used as a complementary tool, lecture recordings are a valuable supplement for students. However, when used as a substitute, lecture recordings provide no additional benefit.
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Avi Goldfarb; Catherine Tucker
    Abstract: Information and communication technology now enables firms to collect detailed and potentially intrusive data about their customers both easily and cheaply. This means that privacy concerns are no longer limited to government surveillance and public figures' private lives. The empirical literature on privacy regulation shows that privacy regulation may affect the extent and direction of data-based innovation. We also show that the impact of privacy regulation can be extremely heterogeneous. Therefore, we argue that digitization means that privacy policy is now a part of innovation policy.
    JEL: O31 O38
    Date: 2011–06

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