nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2013‒11‒09
two papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Diffusion and usage of public e-services in Europe: An assessment of country level indicators and drivers By Seri, Paolo; Bianchi, Annaflavia; Nicola, Matteucci
  2. Trust and Manipulation in Social Networks By Manuel Förster; Ana Mauleon; Vincent Vannetelbosch

  1. By: Seri, Paolo; Bianchi, Annaflavia; Nicola, Matteucci
    Abstract: We analyze the state of the art of indicators on eGovernment, eHealth, eProcurement and ePartecipation. We survey the main methodological properties of these indicators, and uncover the principal stylized facts and trends; at the same time, we highlight their heuristic limits and potential inconsistencies. Finally, we address empirically the issue of the explanation of the indexes scores – i.e. how the supply of the various eServices in each country is affected by political, institutional and socio-economic differences, and is followed by actual usage. The econometric analysis uncovers the importance of broadband penetration and higher education as drivers for most of the types of eServices and users (citizens and businesses). Moreover, a corruption-free and agile public sector shows up to be an important pre-condition for more effective supply and usage. Despite severe data limits and the complexity of the underlying diffusion phenomena, our study of eServices availability and usage across European countries is a first empirical contribution aimed at disentangling broad empirical trends – with their correlates - from unresolved methodological issues. As such, this work appears useful to inform the policy debate and practice, in a phase characterized by a prospective reorientation of public eServices provision.
    Keywords: eGovernment; eHealth; eProcurement; eParticipation; Europe; diffusion; drivers; comparative analysis
    JEL: L32 O14 O33 O38
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Manuel Förster (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique); Ana Mauleon (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique, CEREC - Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles); Vincent Vannetelbosch (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique, CEREC - Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of manipulation in a model of opinion formation where agents have opinions about some common question of interest. Agents repeatedly communicate with their neighbors in the social network, can exert some effort to manipulate the trust of others, and update their opinions taking weighted averages of neighbors' opinions. The incentives to manipulate are given by the agents' preferences. We show that manipulation can modify the trust structure and lead to a connected society, and thus, make the society reaching a consensus. Manipulation fosters opinion leadership, but the manipulated agent may even gain influence on the long-run opinions. In sufficiently homophilic societies, manipulation accelerates (slows down) convergence if it decreases (increases) homophily. Finally, we investigate the tension between information aggregation and spread of misinformation. We find that if the ability of the manipulating agent is weak and the agents underselling (overselling) their information gain (lose) overall influence, then manipulation reduces misinformation and agents converge jointly to more accurate opinions about some underlying true state.
    Keywords: Social networks; trust; manipulation; opinion leadership; consensus; wisdom of crowds
    Date: 2013–09

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