nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2013‒06‒16
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Politics 2.0: The Multifaceted Effect of Broadband Internet on Political Participation By Campante, Filipe; Durante, Ruben; Sobbrio, Francesco
  2. A Conceptual Model and Methodology for Evaluating E-Infrastructure Deployment and Its Application to OECD and MENA Countries By Baseem Al-Athwari; Jorn Altmann; Almas Heshmati
  3. Innovation and government payments in the Italian digital agenda By Carlo Maria Arpaia; Raffaele Doronzo; Pasquale Ferro
  4. The Impact of Information Technology Outsourcing on Productivity and Output: New Evidence from India By Grace Kite
  5. A Web Gaming Facility for Research and Teaching By Martin Shubik
  6. Measuring the Influence of Networks on Transaction Costs Using a Non-parametric Regression Technique By Géraldine Henningsen; Arne Henningsen; Christian H.C.A. Henning

  1. By: Campante, Filipe (Harvard University); Durante, Ruben (Sciences Po); Sobbrio, Francesco (European University Institute, Florence)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of the diffusion of high-speed Internet on different forms of political participation, using data from Italy. We exploit differences in the availability of ADSL broadband technology across municipalities, using the exogenous variation induced by the fact that the cost of providing ADSL-based Internet services in a given municipality depends on its relative position in the pre-existing voice telecommunications infrastructure. We first show that broadband Internet had a substantial negative effect on turnout in parliamentary elections between 1996 and 2008. However, we also find that it was positively associated with other forms of political participation, both online and offline: the emergence of local online grassroots protest movements, and turnout in national referenda (largely opposed by mainstream parties). We then show that the negative effect of Internet on turnout in parliamentary elections is essentially reversed after 2008, when the local grassroots movements coalesce into the Five-Star Movement (M5S) electoral list. Our findings are consistent with the view that: 1) the effect of Internet availability on political participation changes across different forms of engagement; 2) it also changes over time, as new political actors emerge who can take advantage of the new technology to tap into the existence of a disenchanted or demobilized contingent of voters; and 3) these new forms of mobilization eventually feed back into the mainstream electoral process, converting "exit" back into "voice".
    JEL: D72 L82 L86
    Date: 2013–05
  2. By: Baseem Al-Athwari (Technology Management, Economcis, and Policy Program; College of Engineering; Seoul National University); Jorn Altmann (Technology Management, Economcis, and Policy Program; College of Engineering; Seoul National University); Almas Heshmati (Department of Economics, Sogang University)
    Abstract: As information and communication technologies have spread throughout the world, countries have realized the importance of investing more and more in building ICT-relevant infrastructure. However, for fostering further information and communication technology (ICT) development, countries are in need of an analysis tool for measuring their advancement in ICT-relevant infrastructure. Motivated by a variety of attempts to generate measures of ICT development, this study aims to develop an index that quantifies the level of ICT-relevant (e-infrastructure) deployment. In particular, this study introduces two e-infrastructure indices that are composed of six components, namely electricity, telecommunication, Internet, processing power, broadcasting, and human capital. Each component is generated from one or more indicators. This composition provides the possibility of tracking each of them separately and to identify strengths and weaknesses of each country with respect to the ICT-relevant area of the component. It will also help pointing out the source of failure in developing the ICT-related infrastructure and to develop policies for enhancing ICT-related infrastructure accordingly. For the index computation, the study uses a parametric and a non-parametric computation method rather than the traditional approaches which are frequently used in literature. In addition to this, this study also aims at analyzing the indices ranking differences among OECD countries and Middle East & North Africa (MENA) countries, using data for the time period between 2000 and 2007. The ranking of the countries shows that MENA and OECD countries differ significantly in their e-infrastructure development. However, a small group of MENA countries are ranked higher than a few OECD countries. Those countries belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
    Keywords: ICT Infrastructure, Indices, E-readiness, Composite Index, Principle Component Analysis, MENA, OECD.
    JEL: C01 C14 C22 C43 C51 L86 L96 R58
    Date: 2013–04
  3. By: Carlo Maria Arpaia (Banca d'Italia); Raffaele Doronzo (Banca d'Italia); Pasquale Ferro (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: We examine the main items on the European and the Italian Digital Agenda and the rules of the Digital Administration Code, in particular on-line payments. We then highlight the part played by the Bank of Italy in overall administrative modernization through its role as provider of the State Treasury service. We analyse the latest international studies on e-government, comment on the data from the Bank’s survey on local government computerization in order to see how innovation can affect local authorities’ on-line services, and offer some considerations on the outlook for the government payments system.
    Keywords: innovation, general government, digital agenda, payments
    JEL: H11 H83
    Date: 2013–06
  4. By: Grace Kite (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: Neither the literature on outsourcing nor the literature on the impact of information technology (IT) have previously quantified the effects of IT outsourcing. This is a particularly important omission in India, which has an IT outsourcing industry that is well placed to bring world-class applications of the technology to domestic customers. This paper provides econometric evidence which shows that there is a strong positive impact of IT outsourcing on output and productivity in India. It also demonstrates that in aggregate, IT outsourcing makes a substantial contribution to Indian economic growth.
    Keywords: Information Technology, Outsourcing, India
    JEL: O14 O33 O19
    Date: 2012–06
  5. By: Martin Shubik (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: This essay considers the potential for utilizing web games for research and teaching. It discusses a specific gaming facility that has been constructed and utilized. The gaming facility can be made available for use for those interested in utilizing it for teaching and/or research purposes. The goal is to have this facility be of use for both single play and repeated matrix games. Much of the discussion here is aimed at single play games as a desirable benchmark preliminary to the study of repeated games. Properties of the one stage games are discussed and instructions for the use of the system are supplied. Extensions to multistage games and incomplete information are noted.
    Keywords: Matrix games, Experimental, Teaching and computerized games
    JEL: C7 C9 D03
    Date: 2012–05
  6. By: Géraldine Henningsen (DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark); Arne Henningsen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Christian H.C.A. Henning (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel)
    Abstract: All business transactions as well as achieving innovations take up resources, subsumed under the concept of transaction costs. One of the major factors in transaction costs theory is information. Firm networks can catalyse the interpersonal information exchange and hence, increase the access to non-public information so that transaction costs are reduced. Many resources that are sacrificed for transaction costs are inputs that also enter the technical production process. As most production data do not distinguish between these two usages of inputs, high transaction costs result in reduced observed productivity. We empirically analyse the effect of networks on productivity using a cross-validated local linear non-parametric regression technique and a data set of 384 farms in Poland. Our empirical study generally supports our hypothesis that networks affect productivity. Large and dense trading networks and dense information networks and household networks have a positive impact on a farm’s productivity. A bootstrapping procedure confirms that this result is statistically significant.
    Keywords: Information networks, Transaction Costs, Non-parametric estimation, Productivity analysis
    JEL: D22 D23 D24 L14 Q12
    Date: 2013–05

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