nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒09‒05
seven papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. National Strategies and Policies for Digital Identity Management in OECD Countries By OECD
  2. Does the Internet make people happier ? By Thierry Pénard, University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin; Nicolas Poussing, CEPS / INSTEAD, CREM-CNRS; Raphaël Suire, University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin
  3. Can a click buy a little happiness? The impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce on subjective well-being By Fabio Sabatini
  4. The Informationalization of Poverty in Africa?Information and Communication Technologies and Economic Structure By Padraig Carmody
  5. Social Ties and User-Generated Content: Evidence from an Online Social Network By Shriver, Scott K.; Nair, Harikesh S.; Hofstetter, Reto
  6. Real Effort, Real Leisure and Real-time Supervision: Incentives and Peer Pressure in Virtual Organizations. By Brice Corgnet; Roberto Hernán-González; Stephen Rassenti
  7. The Evolving Privacy Landscape: 30 Years After the OECD Privacy Guidelines By OECD

  1. By: OECD
    Abstract: This paper analyses and compares national strategies for digital identity management in OECD countries. These strategies aim to drive innovation for e-government and for the broader Internet economy while remaining consistent with current national identity practices.
    Date: 2011–03–31
  2. By: Thierry Pénard, University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin; Nicolas Poussing, CEPS / INSTEAD, CREM-CNRS; Raphaël Suire, University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin
    Abstract: As people are spending more time online, it is important to evaluate the impact of Internet use on individual well-being. Internet use yields direct utility and economic returns (e.g. better job, higher productivity) that may increase life satisfaction. But the Internet might also have detrimental effects (addiction, social isolation, e.g.). This paper empirically examines the relation between Internet use and subjective well-being. Using Luxemburgish data from a European social survey, we find evidence that non users are less satisfied in their life than Internet users. This result holds when we control for socio-demographic characteristics, social capital, values and beliefs, and health and income. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for low income and young individuals. These findings suggest that public policy aiming to reduce the digital divide are socially desirable
    Keywords: Internet, happiness, well-being, digital divide, social capital, social values
    JEL: A12 D12 D6 H4 L86 Z13
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Fabio Sabatini
    Abstract: This paper presents the first empirical investigation into the effect of e-shopping on subjective well-being. The analysis relies on a nationally and regionally representative dataset from Italy (n = 4,130) drawn from the 2008 wave of the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) carried out by the Bank of Italy. Probit, OLS regressions and instrumental variables estimates show that e-shopping is strongly and positively associated with subjective well-being.
    Keywords: Happiness, subjective well-being, Internet, business-to-consumer e-commerce, B2C, e-shopping, instrumental variables, Italy.
    JEL: I31 E2 Z19 L86
    Date: 2011–08–12
  4. By: Padraig Carmody (Trinity College Dublin)
    Date: 2011–08
  5. By: Shriver, Scott K. (Columbia University); Nair, Harikesh S. (Stanford University); Hofstetter, Reto (University of St Gallen)
    Abstract: We use variation in wind speeds at surfing locations in Switzerland as exogenous shifters of users' propensity to post content about their surfing activity onto an online social network. We exploit this variation to test whether users' online content generation activity has a causal effect on their social ties. Under weak monotonicity assumptions, we also estimate nonparametric bounds on the causal effect of user's social ties in turn on their content generation activity. Economically significant causal effects of the type above can produce positive feedback that generates local network effects in content generation. We find evidence for such network effects. We argue this feedback generates a multiplier effect on interventions that subsidize tie formation. We use our estimates to measure the ROI from such interventions and discuss implications for the site's monetization strategy. Our empirical strategy provides one way to address a significant identification challenge with online social network data that the observed network structure is endogenous to the actions taken by agents on the network. Augmenting the model of agent's actions with a model for the network structure requires solving a formidable network formation game. Our approach to this problem is to conduct inference with an incomplete model of network formation under weak assumptions that deliver informative bounds on the causal effects of interest, while avoiding taking a strong stand on a specific model of network formation.
    Date: 2011–08
  6. By: Brice Corgnet (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Roberto Hernán-González (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Stephen Rassenti (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)
    Abstract: We propose a novel approach to the analysis of organizations by developing a computerized platform that reproduces relevant features of existing organizations such as real-effort tasks and real-leisure alternative activities (Internet). In this environment, we find strong incentives effects as organizations using individual incentives significantly outperform those relying on team incentives. Combining real-time peer monitoring with team incentives, we report striking evidence of positive peer effects as production increases by 50% and Internet usage decreases by 54% compared with organizations using team incentives alone. Peer monitoring allows virtual organizations using team incentives to perform as well as those using individual incentives. However, the positive effect of peer monitoring does not apply to low performers.
    Keywords: team incentives, free-riding, monitoring, peer pressure, virtual organization
    JEL: C9 D23 J0 J41
    Date: 2011
  7. By: OECD
    Abstract: Thirty years ago OECD governments adopted a set of Guidelines governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data. Faced with twin concerns about threats to privacy from more intensive use of personal data and the risk to the global economy of restrictions on the flow of information, the OECD produced the first internationally agreed statement of the core privacy protection principles. The Guidelines represent an international consensus on personal data protection in the public and private sectors. They have influenced the development of national legislation and model codes within OECD member countries, and beyond.<p> This report begins by recalling the development and influence of the Guidelines. It then describes a number of current trends in the processing of personal data and the privacy risks in this evolving environment. It identifies some of the challenges that today’s environment brings for protecting privacy under existing approaches, and highlights a number of current initiatives and innovative approaches to privacy. Particular attention is focused on the impact of the Internet and other technologies, consistent with the issues and priorities highlighted in the 2008 Seoul Ministerial on the Future of the Internet Economy. The report aims to take a broad view of the current landscape for privacy, with a primary focus on economic activities. It does not describe in detail the myriad of initiatives to implement the Privacy Guidelines in OECD countries and beyond.
    Date: 2011–04–06

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