nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2012‒06‒05
seven papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on international trade in fruit and vegetables: A gravity model approach By Thiemann, Franziska; Fleming, Euan M.; Mueller, Rolf A.E.
  2. Proactive Policy Measures by Internet Service Providers against Botnets By OECD
  3. Les listes de discussion comme communautés en ligne : outils de description et méthodes d’analyse By Madeleine Akrich
  4. The relevance of content in ICT initiatives in Indian agriculture : By Glendenning, Claire J.; Ficarelli, Pier Paolo
  5. The Role of Data and Knowledge in Firms’ Service and Product Innovation By Heli Koski
  6. E-commerce and Productivity: An empirical analysis based on the <i>Basic Survey of Japanese Business Structure and Activities</i> (Japanese) By Sanghoon AHN; YoungGak KIM; KWON Hyeog Ug
  7. Enhancing Critical Thinking in Economics Using Team-Based Learning By Espey, Molly

  1. By: Thiemann, Franziska; Fleming, Euan M.; Mueller, Rolf A.E.
    Abstract: Globalization results when markets become more integrated because of reduced transaction and transport costs. These costs have fallen because of sustained advances in transport technology and, more dramatically, in digital information and communication technology (ICT). Although communication costs tend to be a minor component of total trading costs, reductions in these costs may strongly stimulate international trade. The empirical evidence in support of this effect is, however, scant and its strength may depend on the composition of ICT and the nature of the product being traded. We test the hypothesis of an ICT effect on trade in bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and vegetables and fruit in general. We employ a gravity model of international trade between major exporting and importing countries for the period 1995 to 2009. The model explains the value of trade in terms of export and import countries’ levels of internet and mobile phone penetration, and of a broad range of factors that might also affect bilateral trade. We test whether a fixed effects model or random effects model best suits the data; results suggest a fixed effects model is appropriate. Model results suggest that mobile phone penetration significantly stimulates trade in vegetables and fruit and oranges by exporting countries. , but its impact is less than that of fixed telephone usage which has an unexpected negative influence on banana imports. Internet usage has only a positive effect on trade in imports of tomatoes. Internet usage in exporting countries for fruit and vegetables are negatively associated.
    Keywords: Gravity model, information and communication technology (ICT), international trade, fruit and vegetables, International Relations/Trade,
    Date: 2012
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: Botnets are networks of compromised computers that are remotely controlled by malicious agents. They represent a threat to security and trust in online environments. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), by virtue of their ownership of the physical networks and consumer-facing position, are well placed to respond proactively to botnets. This report analyses initiatives in a number of countries through which end-users are notified by ISPs when their computer is identified as being compromised by malicious software and encouraged to take action to mitigate the problem. It reviews the core dimensions of these initiatives and provides high-level guidance for future policy development.
    Date: 2012–05–07
  3. By: Madeleine Akrich (Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, Mines ParisTech)
    Abstract: Presents the results and methodology of a set of investigation on mailing lists and online forums.
    Keywords: bulletin boards; online forums; internet; communities
    JEL: Z10
    Date: 2012–05
  4. By: Glendenning, Claire J.; Ficarelli, Pier Paolo
    Abstract: In the past decade, many information and communication technology (ICT) projects in Indian agriculture have emerged, either substituting or supporting extension services by providing farmers with access to agricultural information. ICTs have the potential to reach many farmers with timely and accessible content. But the content that the ICTs deliver has more relevance if it is localized and context specific, as this improves the value and actionability of the information, which can have important impacts on farm management. The localization of content is influenced by how the ICT projects access, assess, apply, and deliver content. This paper examines the content development and management processes occurring in six well-known ICT projects in Indian agriculture. There are important lessons to be learned from a case study of this process. Content management and development through ICTs is important to examine because public extension services may be able to increase their efficiency and effectiveness by using these tools to support their work with farmers. Though there are differences in scale and mechanisms of delivery and feedback, all of the case study projects use a network of experts in relevant fields to provide content, though the extent of localization varies. Despite the best efforts of these and many other e-agriculture initiatives in India, there is no easy way for their collective knowledge to be tapped, tracked, and put to use across the different platforms. In fact, there is a critical missing link to bridge the gaps between local or parochial access and serving public needs. To mainstream such ICT efforts and knowledge management in agriculture for rural livelihoods, it is necessary to put in place a centralized search engine, or harvester, to access the decentralized and dispersed digital agricultural information repositories and network of experts.
    Keywords: agricultural extension and advisory services, content management, information and communication technology,
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Heli Koski
    Abstract: The importance of data and different sources of knowledge in the development of new services and products, and further in the creation of new markets, has dramatically increased during the past few decades. This empirical study uses data from 531 Finnish firms to explore the determinants of generation of new data-based products and services. The empirical findings emphasize the role of a firm’s absorptive capacity and its ICT competence in data-based innovation. It seems that generally a firm’s external information sources play a more prominent role than internal information sources. Particularly customer involvement in innovation process positively relates to the production of new data-based products and services. The reported empirical findings further indicate that data-based product and service innovation tends to be rather strongly demand-driven.
    Keywords: firm performance, innovation, data-based products and services, ICT
    JEL: D22 L20 O31
    Date: 2012–05–24
  6. By: Sanghoon AHN; YoungGak KIM; KWON Hyeog Ug
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants and effects of e-commerce on firms' productivity using the longitudinal data from the Basic Survey of Japanese Business Structure and Activities (BSBSA). The main findings are as follows.<br />(1) Excellent firms with higher productivity are more likely to utilize e-commerce in their purchase process, whereas inefficient firms with less productivity are likely to utilize it for selling and management. <br />(2) Excellent firms in the manufacturing sector are less likely to introduce e-commerce, whereas those in the non-manufacturing sector, such as wholesale, are more inclined to use it. <br />(3) E-commerce used in the purchase process has a positive influence on both the total factor productivity (TFP) level and TFP growth of firms, even when controlling for other firm characteristics.
    Date: 2012–05
  7. By: Espey, Molly
    Abstract: While critical thinking may be difficult to define, development of critical thinking skills is a principle goal of education, particularly higher education. It is vital that college graduates can question assumptions, synthesize information, evaluate evidence, draw inferences, and make reasoned arguments. Critical thinking skills do not improve without practice; effective teaching methods engage students with course material and each other, challenging them to think through issues and problems relevant to the real world. Engagement or problem solving alone, however, does not guarantee improved critical thinking. This study evaluates the impact of one alternative teaching method, team-based learning, on students’ perceptions of the development of critical thinking skills.
    Keywords: Economic Education, Economics, Education, Pedagogical, Pedagogy, Teaching, Teaching of Economics, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, A200, A220,
    Date: 2012–05

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