nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2013‒11‒29
seven papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Ideology and Online News By Matthew Gentzkow; Jesse M. Shapiro
  2. Importance-performance analysis for internet stores: a system based on publicly available panel data By Elena Pokryshevskaya; Evgeny Antipov
  3. Does online trade live up to the promise of a borderless world? Evidence from the EU Digital Single Market By Bo Cowgill; Cosmina Dorobantu; Bertin Martens
  4. ICT and Productivity: A Review of the Literature By Federico Biagi
  5. The role of consumers, producers, and regulatory authorities in the evolution of green ICTs By Radu, Laura-Diana
  6. Constructive Representation of Trust: Single Rule Paradigm By Arthur Ramer; Robert E. Marks
  7. Freelance contracting in the digital age: informality, virtuality and social ties By Andrey Shevchuk; Denis Strebkov

  1. By: Matthew Gentzkow; Jesse M. Shapiro
    Abstract: News consumption is moving online. If this move fundamentally changes how news is produced and consumed it will have important ramifications for politics. In this chapter we formulate a model of the supply and demand of news online that is motivated by descriptive features of online news consumption. We estimate the demand model using a combination of microdata and aggregate moments from a panel of Internet users. We evaluate the fit of the model to key features of the data and use it to compute the predictions of the supply model. We discuss how such a model can inform debates about the effects of the Internet on political polarization and other outcomes of interest.
    JEL: D83 L86
    Date: 2013–11
  2. By: Elena Pokryshevskaya; Evgeny Antipov
    Abstract: We demonstrate how publicly available ratings of Internet stores can be used to perform actionable importance-performance analysis (IPA). We use a panel of 422 non-food online merchants, which allows us to account for store-specific effects, and therefore obtain better estimates of each attribute’s influence on purchase intention. Our approach is economical, as merchants do not have to spend money on surveys that firms typically have to conduct for IPA. We have enhanced traditional importance-performance analysis by deriving attribute importance indirectly using the Shapley Value decomposition of a first-difference regression’s R2. We have also modified the standard “importance-performance” graph by adding the information about the directions of changes in attribute ratings between the two periods, which made it easier to point out strategic mistakes. We demonstrate the diagnostic power of our approach by doing the actual importance-performance analysis for two of the stores. The potential of enhancing the expert system using other methods and other types of publicly available data is discussed.
    Keywords: Shapley value, importance-performance analysis, panel data, e-commerce.
    JEL: L81 M31
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Bo Cowgill (University of California at Berkeley); Cosmina Dorobantu (Oxford University); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: An important EU Digital Single Market policy objective is to achieve an open and integrated market for online e-commerce in the EU, to make it easy for consumers to go outside their domestic market and shop online in other EU Member States. This study applies a standard gravity model of international trade to Google e-commerce data to estimate the prevalence of home bias in online shopping in the EU. It compares how much EU Member States trade domestically and with other Member States, and how much the EU trades with itself and with the rest of the world. The research confirms the findings of the (offline) international trade literature, according to which there is strong home bias. There is no unambiguous evidence about the strengths or weaknesses of the EU Digital Single Market. Strong intra-EU home bias suggests that online consumers have a tendency to stay in their home country market. Equally strong extra-EU home bias suggests that online consumers who do decide to shop abroad have a tendency to stay in the EU however, rather than going to a non-EU country. There are indications that online home bias is lower in a comparable cross-border trade setting in North America. Data and methodological limitations do not allow a more detailed analysis.
    Keywords: online trade, e-commerce, gravity, barriers to trade, home bias
    JEL: F15 O52
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: Federico Biagi (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: In this report we review the literature on the relationship between ICT and productivity. In Sect. 1 we discuss in broad terms the theoretical relationship between ICT and productivity, while in Sect. 2 we present the growth accounting methodology, which tries to measure the contributions to growth from difference sources (ICT and non ICT capital, human capital, total factor productivity). Within the growth-accounting methodology, in Sect. 3, we discuss the U.S. - E.U. productivity gap and the role of ICTs, and we show that the latter are responsible for the U.S. acceleration in productivity growth observed in the period 1996-2006 and for the widening of the U.S. – E.U. productivity gap in the same period. Then, in Sect. 4, we move to regression based studies, and we review the literature that uses macro, meso (sectoral) and firm/plant level data. While the overall message on the importance of ICT for growth coming from this literature is consistent with the findings of the studies based on growth accounting, the econometric approach allows researchers to investigate a wider set of questions. In particular, we focus on the role of ICT as a General Purpose Technology aspects and we review the literature studying the role of ICT and complementary assets in firms' productivity and the literature exploring the positive externalities related to ICT capital and the impact of ICT usage on the innovative capability of firms. Finally, we also review the literature on the relationship between ICT infrastructures and GDP growth.
    Keywords: ICT, labour productivity, total factor productivity, innovation
    JEL: D22 D24 E01 O30 O47
    Date: 2013–09
  5. By: Radu, Laura-Diana
    Abstract: The evolution of the information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the increase of the role given to environment in society have led to the widening of the green ICT concept. The way in which they can contribute to the improvement of life conditions, as related to the ecosystem, depends only on the interest and involvement of people, companies and state, directly or indirectly, influenced on their turn by the living standards, education and others. This paper aims to identify the way in which producers, consumers and regulatory authorities can contribute to the promotion and implementation of the green ICT concept, as well as its main influences on the environment and the society.
    Keywords: green, ICT, e-waste, environment, non-renewable resources, innovation
    JEL: O3
    Date: 2013–06–10
  6. By: Arthur Ramer (School of Computer Science & Engineering, the University of New South Wales); Robert E. Marks (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: A constructive computational framework for trust and reputation assessments is presented. It is proven free from any inconsistent or contradictory assessments under any scenarios of its application. A prototype implementation has been developed. The framework focuses on a single information-theoretical rule as inference mechanism, thus avoiding any biases or spurious constraints in the solutions. The users of our model will find its results intuitively plausible, free from clustering or drift to the extrema. The entire framework is suited for a direct use in economic, financial and intelligence analyses.
    Keywords: trust, belief revision, maximum entropy, reputation
    JEL: D83
    Date: 2013–11
  7. By: Andrey Shevchuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics. Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology. Senior Researcher;); Denis Strebkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics. Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology. Senior Researcher;)
    Abstract: Based on a sample of 5,784 Russian-speaking respondents, this study provides the first quantitative evidence on freelance contracting via the Internet. We explore the extent to which these virtual business relations are formal or informal, and the role of social capital and networking. Our data suggest freelancers act under constant threat of malfeasance from clients. We address a number of questions associated with freelancers’ business risks and how freelancers might mitigate them. The logistic regression models reveal that the virtualization of relationships with clients is associated with greater moral hazard risks and fewer opportunities for dispute resolution. Formal written contracts do not prevent opportunistic behaviors by clients, though such contracts help resolve conflicts. Dealing with available social contacts and referrals decreases both the probability of extreme opportunism, causing financial losses, and the probability that disputes remain unresolved. Nevertheless, established social relations could be exploited by clients who can delay payments or insist on altering deadlines, work scope and specifications. Thus, our findings contribute to existing literatures on social capital in freelance contracting and on the structure of occupational labor markets.
    Keywords: freelancers, independent contractors, self-employment, Internet, opportunism, social capital
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2013

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