nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒08‒15
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. What is the True Loss Due to Piracy?: Evidence from Microsoft Office in Hong Kong By Leung, Tin Cheuk
  2. The Role of ICT-based Market Information Services in Spatial Food Market Integration: The Case of Malawi Agricultural Commodity Exchange By Katengeza, S.P.; Mangisoni, Julius H.; Okello, Julius Juma
  3. E-government in the Balkans. Comparative study By Matei, Ani; Savulescu, Carmen
  4. The Prospects and Challenges of Information Retrieval by University Students: A case study of Post Graduate Students of the University of Ghana, Legon By Fordjour, R.; Badu, E.E.; Adjei, E.
  5. Connectivity and Competition in Airline Networks: A Complexity Analysis of Lufthansa's Network By Aura Reggiani; Peter Nijkamp; Alessandro Cento
  6. Does the environment in which ICT-based market information services (MIS) projects operate affect their performance? Experiences from Kenya By Okello, Julius Juma; Ndirangu, Lydia K.

  1. By: Leung, Tin Cheuk
    Abstract: Software piracy remains rampant despite the successful measures the Hong Kong government has taken to eradicate street piracy. This is because most people prefer substituting a counterfeit copy of a software CD (street piracy) with an illegal download of the software (Internet piracy). To support this claim, I construct a unique data set from 281 college students in Hong Kong to demonstrate two things. First, I estimate a random-coefficient discrete choice demand system for Microsoft Office from legal and different illegal sources. Estimates obtained from a Bayesian approach, with a mixture of normal priors, indicate a strong substitution pattern between street piracy and Internet piracy. Second, I conduct counterfactuals in which street piracy is absent. Results are twofold. First, most students would switch to Internet piracy. Second, the government, by assuming that each pirated copy represents a lost sale, may over-estimate the gain from eradicating piracy by up to nine times.
    Keywords: software piracy; bayesian; conjoint analysis
    JEL: K42 L86
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: Katengeza, S.P.; Mangisoni, Julius H.; Okello, Julius Juma
    Abstract: The government of Malawi in 2004 initiated an ICT-based Malawi Agricultural Commodity Exchange (MACE), a market information service project, to improve access by farmers to market information. MACE was intended to improve the efficiency of agricultural markets as part of the strategy to improve food security. This study uses quantitative methods to examine whether MACE has contributed to efficiency of rice markets in Malawi. It especially tests if MACE has contributed to spatial integration of rice markets. As hypothesized, the study finds that the tendency of rice prices to move together in spatially separated markets has significantly increased since the implementation of MACE. It concludes that ICT-based market information services improve the efficiency with which agricultural markets perform. The study discusses implications of this finding for policy.
    Keywords: ICT-based intervention, market information service, market integration, rice, Malawi, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2010–09
  3. By: Matei, Ani; Savulescu, Carmen
    Abstract: In Europe, e-government is considered as one of the main goals for the future. Lately, we have witnessed the revolution in the provision of e-government services for citizens. Citizens benefit of e-government services, better access to information, improved interaction with government, especially due to the increase of using ICT. The paper analyses the current state of the art of e-government in the Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey. The paper achieves a comparative analysis on e-government development in the Balkan countries, based on data provided by UN e-government Surveys. At the same time, we make a comparative analysis concerning ICT development in the Balkan countries, using data provided by ICT Development Index - Measuring the Information Society 2010. The methodology of research comprises bibliographic studies, analysis of specialised reports achieved by relevant international organisations, statistic analyses and evaluations, interpolation.
    Keywords: comparative analysis; ICT development; e-government
    Date: 2011–08–06
  4. By: Fordjour, R.; Badu, E.E.; Adjei, E.
    Abstract: The poor performance of students in the various universities has been attributed to the inability of students to effectively retrieve information for academic work. The purpose of the study was to investigate the prospects and challenges of information retrieval among university students. The survey research method was used to investigate the awareness and use of information retrieval systems, document retrieved and its relevance to studentâs information need, challenges of information retrieval among students and future expectation of information retrieving skills by students. Three student faculties in the University of Ghana, Legon participated in the study. A questionnaire consisting of 29 items was used as an instrument for collecting data. The findings reveal that students from all the faculties considered are highly aware of the information retrieval systems. However, there was no relationship between awareness of information retrieval systems and faculties. The study also shows that the use of information retrieval tools to retrieve relevant information depends on the information needs of the student. The study recommends that information retrieval skills training programme should be embedded in the curriculum and undertaken at an appropriate time and supported by academic staff of the University. In addition, the University administrators should ensure students studying subjects without an emphasis upon technology receive sufficient information retrieval skills training so that they are not prejudiced against due to subject chosen. Also, ensure that information retrieval skills training are pitched at a level which is appropriate to the individual needs of the student.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2010–09
  5. By: Aura Reggiani (University of Bologna, Italy); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam); Alessandro Cento (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Milan, Italy)
    Abstract: Information, communication and transport networks have always been in a state of flux, while they also influence each other. Extensive research efforts have been made to investigate the dynamics in the structure and use of networks, e.g., by means of network geometries, small-world effects and scale-free phenomena. We will illustrate these new developments on the basis of airline network evolution. The present paper provides a new contribution to the analysis of topological properties of complex airline networks. Using Lufthansa's networks as an example, this paper aims to show the empirical relevance of various network indicators - such as connectivity and concentration - for understanding changing patterns in airline network configurations. After an extensive discussion of various statistical results, a decision-aid method, viz. multi-criteria analysis, is used to investigate the robustness of our findings. The results highlight the actual strategi c choices made by Lufthansa for its own network, as well in combination with its partners in Star Alliance.
    Keywords: airline networks; complexity; connectivity; concentration; degree distribution; network geometry; multicriteria analysis
    JEL: L93
    Date: 2011–08–09
  6. By: Okello, Julius Juma; Ndirangu, Lydia K.
    Abstract: The need to provide agricultural information to farmers has led to emergence of numerous ICTbased MIS projects in developing country. These projects aim at promoting commercialization of smallholder agriculture and subsequently their welfare. This study examines the how the environment in which such ICT-based MIS affect their performance. It specifically uses the DrumNet project, an ICT-based MIS, to assess how the socio-economic, physical, political and physical environment in the project areas affected its performance. The study finds that those transaction-related problems, especially strategic default, deriving from these environmental factors greatly undermined the performance of DrumNet forcing it to relocate severally. It discusses policy implications of these findings.
    Keywords: ICT-based MIS projects, the DrumNet model, operational environment, performance, Kenya, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2010–09

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