nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2013‒01‒07
eight papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Trust Drives Internet Use By Ljunge, Martin
  2. Identifying Two-Sided Markets By Filistrucchi, L.; Geradin, D.A.A.G.; Damme, E.E.C. van
  3. Happier and less isolated: internet use in old age By Lelkes, Orsolya
  4. Innovationssystem Internet: Eine institutionenökonomische Analyse der digitalen Revolution By Lenz, Justus
  5. What's in a Name? Measuring Prominence, and its Impact on Organic Traffic from Search Engines By Michael R. Baye; Babur De los Santos; Matthijs R. Wildenbeest
  6. Wettbewerbspolitischer Handlungsbedarf bei der Verknüpfung von zweiseitigen Märkten im Internet: Der Fall Google By Engelhardt, Sebastian; Freytag, Andreas; Köllmann, Volker
  7. ICT and occupation-based measures of organisational change: Firm and employee outcomes By Böckerman, Petri; Kauhanen, Antti; Maliranta, Mika
  8. Flexible Generation of E-Learning Exams in R: Moodle Quizzes, OLAT Assessments, and Beyond By Achim Zeileis; Nikolaus Umlauf; Friedrich Leisch

  1. By: Ljunge, Martin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of trust on internet use by studying the general population as well as second generation immigrants in 29 European countries with ancestry in 87 nations. There is a significant positive effect of trust on internet use. The positive trust effect is not universal to all media, as individuals with high trust are shown to consume less television. The finding provides evidence for one mechanism through which trust creates good outcomes. Individuals with high trust spend time online, and eschew the isolation of the TV couch, which may produce more productive opportunities.
    Keywords: Trust; Internet use; Intergenerational transmission; Cultural transmission; TV watching
    JEL: D13 D83 J62 Z13
    Date: 2012–12–20
  2. By: Filistrucchi, L.; Geradin, D.A.A.G.; Damme, E.E.C. van (Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economics Center)
    Abstract: Abstract: We review the burgeoning literature on two-sided markets focusing on the different definitions that have been proposed. In particular, we show that the well-known definition given by Evans is a particular case of the more general definition proposed by Rochet and Tirole. We then identify the crucial elements that make a market two-sided and, drawing from both theory and practice, derive suggestions for the identification of the two-sided nature of a market. Our suggestions are relevant not only for the analysis of traditional two-sided markets, such as newspapers and payment cards, but also for the analysis of many new markets, such as those for online social networks, online search engines and Internet news aggregators.
    Keywords: two-sided markets;platforms;network effects.
    JEL: L40 L50 K21
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Lelkes, Orsolya
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of internet use in old age on social isolation and on subjective well-being. Does internet use make older people less or more lonely? Does it crowd out face-to-face contacts or enhance them? We found that social isolation is lower among internet users aged 65 or over. Using a European multi-country cross-sectional dataset with over 11000 observations, we found that those who use the internet regularly have a lower chance of being isolated, more so for those who use the internet every day, controlling for personal characteristics such as income, marital status, gender and health condition. Thus, personal social meetings and virtual contacts are complementary, rather than substituting for each other. Internet use may be a useful way of reducing social isolation. We also found a positive relationship between regular internet use and self-reported life satisfaction, all else being equal. Our findings were robust in alternative specifications as well.
    Keywords: Social isolation; loneliness; internet use; old age; happiness
    JEL: I31 Z13
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Lenz, Justus
    Abstract: Die Themen digitale Revolution und Netzpolitik sind im öffentlichen Diskurs Deutschlands angekommen und werden breit diskutiert. Allerdings fehlt noch immer ein allgemeines Verständnis für die eigentlichen Ursachen der wahrgenommenen Veränderungen. Das Internet stellt eine unbestimmte und neutrale Kommunikationsplattform bereit, die durch ihren Aufbau sehr innovationsfreundlich ist. Digitalisierte Informationen werden in Datenpakete verpackt und unabhängig vom Inhalt verschickt. Durch diesen Aufbau hat das Internet einen enormen Innovationsschub ermöglicht, der die Kosten für Informationsverarbeitung und Kommunikation radikal gesenkt hat. Die praktischen Auswirkungen dieser grundlegenden Transformation sind bereits in Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft und Politik zu beobachten. --
    Keywords: Internet,Innovationssystem,Institutionenökonomie,Transaktionskosten,Informationssystem
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Michael R. Baye (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business); Babur De los Santos (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business); Matthijs R. Wildenbeest (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)
    Abstract: Organic product search results on Google and Bing do not systematically include information about seller characteristics (e.g., feedback ratings and prices). Consequently, it is often assumed that a retailer’s organic traffic is driven by the prominence of its position in the list of search results. We propose a novel measure of the prominence of a retailer’s name, and show that it is also an important predictor of the organic traffic retailers enjoy from product searches through Google and Bing. We also show that failure to account for the prominence of retailers’ names–as well as the endogeneity of retailers’ positions in the list of search results–significantly inflates the estimated impact of screen position on organic clicks.
    Keywords: product search, position, internet, search engines, prominence
    JEL: D43 D83 L13
    Date: 2012–12
  6. By: Engelhardt, Sebastian; Freytag, Andreas; Köllmann, Volker
    Abstract: We discuss competition effects and possible regulation of vertical integration in internet-based two-sided markets against the background of the ongoing antitrust allegations against Google. In such markets, network effects and economics of scale often lead to dominating companies which are integrated over several markets. Although implying efficiency gains, the (dynamic) network effects and economics of scale may also create significant barriers to entry. These barriers of entry can be lowered if entrants can appropriate (parts of) the dynamic effects accumulated by the incumbents. At the same time, such externalities reduce incentives to invest in dynamic effects in the first place. Measures by firms that deter multi homing, increase switching costs or create incompatibilities are anti-competitive and should thus be prohibited. Systematic top listing of own products in the search results can leverage market power and reduce competition. However, there is yet no appropriate economic theory on the power’ of search engines. The often used concept of ‘search neutrality’ is not convincing.
    Keywords: two-sided markets; Internet; Google; market power; competition policy
    JEL: L13 L42 L50 L86
    Date: 2012–12–18
  7. By: Böckerman, Petri; Kauhanen, Antti; Maliranta, Mika
    Abstract: To examine the productivity, employment and wage effects of ICT, we apply novel occupationbased measures of organisational change within firms. With these measures, we directly address the complementarities between ICT and organisational changes. Our results support the view that organisational change complements ICT investments in a productivity-enhancing manner. In particular, the ICT-driven productivity gains are associated with the destruction of routine and noninteractive tasks in an organisation. Furthermore, using longitudinal aspects of our linked employeremployee data, we find that whereas ICT does not affect the probability of an employee becoming unemployed, it has a positive impact on the wage growth of retained employees.
    Keywords: ICT; innovation; organisational change; restructuring; productivity; performance; wages
    JEL: J31 L23 J24 M51
    Date: 2012–12–17
  8. By: Achim Zeileis; Nikolaus Umlauf; Friedrich Leisch
    Abstract: The capabilities of the package exams for automatic generation of (statistical) exams in R are extended by adding support for learning management systems: As in earlier versions of the package exam generation is still based on separate Sweave files for each exercise - but rather than just producing different types of PDF output files, the package can now render the same exercises into a wide variety of output formats. These include HTML (with various options for displaying mathematical content) and XML specifications for online exams in learning management systems such as Moodle or OLAT. This flexibility is accomplished by a new modular and extensible design of the package that allows for reading all weaved exercises into R and managing associated supplementary files (such as graphics or data files). The manuscript discusses the readily available user interfaces, the design of the underlying infrastructure, and how new functionality can be built on top of the existing tools.
    Keywords: exams, e-learning, multiple choice, arithmetic problems, Sweave, R, LaTeX, HTML, XML, IMS QTI, Moodle, OLAT
    JEL: A2 C88
    Date: 2012–12

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