nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2013‒10‒05
nine papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. The Internet and Hate Crime: Offline Spillovers from Online Access By Jason Chan; Anindya Ghose; Robert Seamans
  2. ICT to support the Everyday Life Integration of Immigrants in the European Union: An Online Survey of Connected Migrants - First Methodological Report By Gabriel Rissola
  3. The Effect of the Internet on Performance and Quality: Evidence from the Airline Industry By Itai Ater; Eugene Orlov;
  4. Literature Review on Employability, Inclusion and ICT, Part 1: The Concept of employability, with a specific focus on Young people, older workers and migrants By Anne Green; Maria de Hoyos; Sally-Anne Barnes; David Owen; Beate Baldauf; Heike Behle
  5. The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Groups at Risk of Social and Economic Exclusion: Evidence and Opportunity for Policy By James Stewart; Lizzy Bleumers; Centeno
  6. Common Agency and Coordinated Bids in Sponsored Search Auctions By Francesco Decarolis; Maris Goldmanis; Antonio Penta
  7. Substitution and Complementarity between Fixed-line and Mobile Access By Lukasz Grzybowski; Frank Verboven
  8. Why is online piracy ethically different from theft? A vignette experiment. By Wojciech Hardy; Michał Krawczyk; Joanna Tyrowicz
  9. Online Homework Management Systems: Should We Allow Multiple Attempts? By Rhodes, M. Taylor; Sarbaum, Jeffrey K.

  1. By: Jason Chan (New York University, Stern School of Business, IOMS Department); Anindya Ghose (New York University, Stern School of Business, IOMS Department); Robert Seamans (New York University, Stern School of Business, Management Department)
    Abstract: The Internet has had profound effects on society, both positive and negative. In this paper we examine the effect of the Internet on a negative spillover: hate crime. In order to better understand the link, we study the extent to which broadband availability affects racial hatecrimes in the US from 1999 – 2008. To address measurement error, we instrument for broadband availability using slope of terrain. We find strong evidence that broadband availability increases racial hate crimes. The results are stronger in areas with greater racial segregation and with more online searches for racist words, suggesting that the direct effect of the Internet on hate crime is primarily due to a heightening of pre-existing propensities to engage in hate activity. We find no evidence that the Internet has affected crime reporting. The results are robust to alternative specifications and falsification tests. These results shed light on one of the many offline spillovers from increased online access, and suggest that governmental and private regulation of online content may help reduce hate crime.
    Keywords: Internet, broadband, online-offline interaction, hate crime, race
    JEL: C26 J15 K49 O33
    Date: 2013–10
  2. By: Gabriel Rissola (Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre, European Commission)
    Abstract: This methodological report documents the development of an online-based methodology for collecting quantitative evidence on the adoption and uses of information and communication technologies (ICT) by third-country nationals in Europe. The evidence produced by using this methodology is expected to allow an examination of the extent to which technology can accelerate or trigger the process of integration of immigrants in their host societies. This report was prepared as a part of the research study "ICT to support the everyday life integration of immigrants or ethnic minority people (IEM)" (ConnectIEM) which was co-funded by JRC-IPTS and DG INFSO, European Commission. The following external research teams collaborated in the study: the Migration and Network Society Programme (MNS) hosted by the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), the Technological and Social Change Group (TASCHA) hosted by the University of Washington, and a network of local researchers based in the target countries.
    Keywords: Digital inclusion, migrants, integration, ICT, survey, methodology
    Date: 2013–02
  3. By: Itai Ater (Recanati Business School, Tel Aviv University); Eugene Orlov (Compass Lexecon);
    Abstract: How did the diffusion of the Internet affect performance and product quality in the airline industry? We argue that the shift to online distribution channels has changed the way airlines compete for customers - from an environment in which airlines compete for space at the top of travel agents’ computer screens by scheduling the shortest flights, to an environment where price plays the dominant role in selling tickets. Using flight-level data between 1997 and 2007 and geographical growth patterns in Internet access, we find a positive relationship between Internet access and scheduled flight times. The magnitude of the effect is larger in competitive markets without low-cost carriers and for flights with shortest scheduled times. We also find that despite longer scheduled flight times, flight delays increased as passengers gained Internet access. More generally, these findings suggest that increased Internet access may adversely affect firms' performance and firms’ incentives to provide high quality products.
    Keywords: Internet, Search, Air Travel, Quality
    JEL: D83 L15 L93
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: Anne Green (University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research); Maria de Hoyos (University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research); Sally-Anne Barnes (University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research); David Owen (University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research); Beate Baldauf (University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research); Heike Behle (University of Warwick, Institute for Employment Research)
    Abstract: IPTS has launched a research project on how ICT can support employability, in the context of its policy support activities for the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy, and the Digital Agenda for Europe. As a first step, JRC-IPTS contracted the Institute of Employment Research, University of Warwick, UK to prepare: a) a review of the literature on employability, its dimensions and the factors which affect it in general and for groups at risk of exclusion, namely migrants, youth and older workers; and b) a report on how ICT contribute to employability, support the reduction of barriers and create pathways to employment for all and also for the three specific groups at risk of exclusion. This report presents the findings of the first part of the research.
    Keywords: Employability, inclusion, migrants, youth, older workers
    Date: 2013–03
  5. By: James Stewart (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Lizzy Bleumers (iMINDS); Centeno (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This report addresses the potential of digital games to support social inclusion and empowerment (DGEI). It is based on a range of theoretical and empirical data, brought together for the first time in this and associated reports. The aim of the report, commissioned by DG CNECT, is to provide a better understanding of the industrial, market, social opportunities and limitations of digital games for empowerment and as a tool for socio-economic inclusion of people at risk of exclusion (such as youth at risk, migrants, elderly people, the unemployed, and the low-educated). A review of the literature, 12 original short case studies, workshops, and contributions from experts and stakeholders were used to identify both opportunities and challenges for deployment of digital games and gaming in fields such as wellness and aging, education and employability of poor learners, improved quality of training and skill development in industry, and civic participation. It concludes that there is sufficient evidence and activity to foresee positive impacts in terms of social inclusion, public service improvement, and employment and growth, but significant activity is still required in research, innovation, and especially in practice, before clear conclusions on large scale impact could be drawn. The report finishes by suggesting a range of actions related to the video game and 'serious game and gamification'' industry, research, skills, and application sectors that could be taken by stakeholders and policy makers in order to exploit the opportunities of DGEI.
    Keywords: Social inclusion, innovation, videogames, games, serious games, education, health, exclusion, social innovation, welfare
    JEL: I38 I24 I12 J24 L83 L86 L88 O31 O32 O33 O38
    Date: 2013–09
  6. By: Francesco Decarolis (Department of Economics and Hariri Institute, Boston University); Maris Goldmanis (Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London); Antonio Penta (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin at Madison)
    Abstract: As auctions are becoming the main mechanism for selling advertisement space on the web, marketing agencies specialized in bidding in online auctions are proliferating. We analyze theoretically how bidding delegation to a common marketing agency can undermine both revenues and efficiency of the generalized second price auction, the format used by Google and Microsoft-Yahoo!. Our characterization allows us to quantify the revenue losses relative to both the case of full competition and the case of agency bidding under an alternative auction format (specifically, the VCG mechanism). We propose a simple algorithm that a search engine can use to reduce efficiency and revenue losses.
    Keywords: Online Advertising, Internet Auctions, Common Agency
    JEL: C71 D44 L41 L81 M37
    Date: 2013–09
  7. By: Lukasz Grzybowski (Telecom ParisTech, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, 46 rue Barrault, 75013 Paris, France); Frank Verboven (University of Leuven and CEPR (London), Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven, Belgium)
    Abstract: We use rich survey data on 133,825 households from 27 EU countries during 2005-2011 to analyze substitution between fixed-line and mobile telecommunications services. We estimate a discrete choice model where households may choose between having mobile or fixed-line voice access only, or using both technologies at the same time. We obtain the following main findings. First, fixed-line and mobile connections are on average perceived as substitutes. But there is substantial heterogeneity across households and EU regions, with stronger substitution in Central and Eastern European countries. Second, there is strong complementarity between fixed-line and mobile connections that are offered by the fixed-line incumbent operator. This gives the incumbent a possibility to leverage its position in the fixed-line market into the mobile market. Third, fixed broadband technologies such as DSL and cable generate strong complementarities between fixed and mobile access, while mobile broadband strengthens substitution (at a smaller scale). The emergence of fixed broadband has thus been an important additional source through which incumbents leverage their strong position in the fixed-line network.
    Keywords: fixed-to-mobile substitution; incumbency advantage; broadband access
    JEL: L13 L43 L96
    Date: 2013–09
  8. By: Wojciech Hardy (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Michał Krawczyk (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Joanna Tyrowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland)
    Abstract: This study employs a vignette experiment to inquire, which features of online “piracy†make it ethically discernible from a traditional theft. This question is pertinent since the social norm concerning traditional theft is starkly different from the evidence on ethical evaluation of online “piracyâ€. We specifically distinguish between contextual features of theft, such as for example the physical loss of an item, breach of protection, availability of alternatives, emotional proximity to the victim of theft, etc. We find that some of these dimensions have more weight in ethical judgment, but there are no clear differences between online and traditional theft which could explain discrepancy in the frequency of commitment.
    Keywords: vignette experiment, illegal downloading, digital piracy, illegal download, downloading behaviour, P2P network
    JEL: A13 C93 D12
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Rhodes, M. Taylor (Lawrence University); Sarbaum, Jeffrey K. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Conventional pencil and paper wisdom suggests that allowing multiple attempts on homework will lead to more time spent on homework, higher homework grades, and better exam performance. For a variety of reasons, homework is increasingly being auto-administered online. This paper discusses the results of a quasi-experiment designed to evaluate student behavior under single and multiple attempt homework settings using an online homework management system. The paper explores whether multiple attempts lead to more effort and improved performance, and evaluates alternative, less desirable, behaviors that are potentially incentivized. We find that multiple attempts leads to gaming behavior that results in grade inflation without improvement in learning outcomes. The findings are important in that they provide guidance and insight into best practices to maximize student outcomes when choosing online homework settings.
    Keywords: Student effort and performance; Assessment settings; Multiple attempts
    JEL: A22 C93 D01 I21
    Date: 2013–10–01

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