nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2012‒05‒22
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. E-Lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet By Falck, Oliver; Gold, Robert; Heblich, Stephan
  2. Online accessibility of academic articles and the diversity of economics By Timo Boppart; Kevin E. Staub
  3. Evidence on the Impact of R&D and ICT Investment on Innovation and Productivity in Italian Firms By Bronwyn H. Hall; Francesca Lotti; Jacques Mairesse
  4. Access to Information and Targeted Transparency Policies By Paloma Baena Olabe; Juan Cruz Vieyra
  5. Identification and Governance Policies: The Legal, Technical, and Institutional Foundations that Influence the Relations and Interactions of the Citizen with the Government and Society By Mia Elisabeth Harbitz; Iván Arcos Axt
  6. Call Me if You Can – An Experimental Investigation of Information Sharing in Knowledge Networks By Christoph Helbach; Klemens Keldenich; Michael Rothgang; Guanzhong Yang

  1. By: Falck, Oliver (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Gold, Robert (Max Planck Institute for Economics); Heblich, Stephan (University of Stirling)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effect of information disseminated by the Internet on voting behavior. We address endogeneity in Internet availability by exploiting regional and technological peculiarities of the preexisting voice telephony network that hinder the roll-out of fixed-line broadband infrastructure for high-speed Internet. We find small negative effects of Internet availability on voter turnout, and no evidence that the Internet systematically benefits single parties. Robustness tests including placebo estimations from the pre-Internet era confirm our results. We relate differences in the Internet effect between national and local elections to a crowding out of national but not local newspapers.
    Keywords: elections, political economy, instrumental variables, mass media, internet
    JEL: D72 C50 L86
    Date: 2012–05
  2. By: Timo Boppart; Kevin E. Staub
    Abstract: A key aspect of generating new ideas is drawing from different elements of preexisting knowledge and combining them into a new idea. In such a process, the diversity of ideas plays a central role. This paper examines the empirical question of how the internet affected the diversity of new research by making the existing literature accessible online. The internet marks a technological shock which affects how academic scientists search for and browse through published documents. Using article-level data from economics journals for the period 1991 to 2009, we document how online accessibility lead academic economists to draw from a more diverse set of literature, and to write articles which incorporated more diverse contents.
    Keywords: Digitization, online publication, bibliometrics, knowledge production function, recombinant growth, citations, networks, scholarly communication
    JEL: A11 D83 O31 O33
    Date: 2012–05
  3. By: Bronwyn H. Hall; Francesca Lotti; Jacques Mairesse
    Abstract: Both Research and Development (R&D) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investment have been identified as sources of relative innovation underperformance in Europe vis-à-vis the United States. In this paper we investigate R&D and ICT investment at the firm level in an effort to assess their relative importance and to what extent they are complements or substitutes. We use data on a large unbalanced panel data sample of Italian manufacturing firms constructed from four consecutive waves of a survey of manufacturing firms, together with a version of the CDM model (Crepon et al., 1998) that has been modified to include ICT investment and R&D as the two main inputs into innovation and productivity. We find that R&D and ICT are both strongly associated with innovation and productivity, with R&D being more important for innovation, and ICT investment being more important for productivity. For the median firm, rates of return to both investments are so high that they suggest considerably underinvestment in both these activities.
    JEL: L60 O31 O33
    Date: 2012–05
  4. By: Paloma Baena Olabe; Juan Cruz Vieyra
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate around why and how access to information can be used to prevent and control corruption. Access to information can not only bring corruption cases to light, it can also be a fundamental tool for its prevention and control, given that it encourages the creation of channels of participation and helps to identify vulnerabilities in both the public and the private sectors that might become windows of opportunity for corrupt practices. The paper`s conceptual framework explains how initiatives aimed at promoting access to information that are based on the concept of targeted transparency enable greater accountability in key areas of public management, by taking into consideration the effectiveness and quality of access to information channels or mechanisms, as well as the capacities and interests of the users to gain access to and use this information.
    Keywords: Public Sector :: Transparency & Anticorruption, Public Sector :: Population Statistics & Information Systems, Public Sector :: Democracy, integrity, monitoring, accountability, public management
    JEL: H00
    Date: 2011–11
  5. By: Mia Elisabeth Harbitz; Iván Arcos Axt
    Abstract: This IDB technical note seeks to highlight the relationship that exists between a country¿s level of governance, the success of digital government strategies, and the identification policies that government implements, as well as the interdependence between them. Belgium, Chile, and Mexico were chosen as case studies, because they share characteristics making them in some ways comparable. Moreover, amongst other reasons, they are all OECD-member countries, they have well-defined digital government strategies, and they are in the process of implementing (with differing degrees of progress) a state-of-the-art electronic identification (e-Id) card.
    Keywords: Public Sector :: Civil Registration, Rural & Urban Development :: Public Utilities, Identity management
    JEL: O31 O33 O38
    Date: 2011–09
  6. By: Christoph Helbach; Klemens Keldenich; Michael Rothgang; Guanzhong Yang
    Abstract: In the public promotion of R&D cluster and network formation, the following situation typically arises: An initial network structure has developed over a long time span and policy measures affect the structure of links between the actors. This new network structure influences the effectiveness of the information flow in a way that is not clear from the beginning. As analyzing the effects of a change in the network structure is difficult in the field, this paper uses a laboratory experiment to analyze how information is distributed in four different network structures. Networks are modeled as five-actor groups. Every individual represents a node and possesses some private information. The experimental results suggest that the different network structures do indeed influence the way information is exchanged. Both too many possible links (causing a coordination problem) and too few possible links (introducing bottlenecks) are harmful. The participants in all network structures learn over time and achieve a faster exchange of information in the later rounds. These results suggest that when influencing communication structures, one has to be careful to balance the positive and negative effects of adding more communication possibilities.
    Keywords: Network; communication; laboratory experiment; information flow
    JEL: C93 D70 D81
    Date: 2012–04

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