nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2013‒12‒20
ten papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. The impact of e-waste on the operating model of a close the digital divide organisation. By Cumps, B.; Vanden Eynde, O.; Viaene, Stijn
  2. Access to Techonology and the Transfer Function of Community Colleges: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Fairlie, Robert W.; Grunberg, Samantha H.
  3. Limited Information Aggregation and Externalities - A Simple Model of Metastable Market By Gong, Zheng; Tian, Feng; Xu, Boyan
  4. Elasticity of substitution and technical progress: Is there a misspecification problem? By Saltari, Enrico; Federici, Daniela
  5. Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren By Fairlie, Robert W.; Robinson, Jonathan
  6. The Value of Network Information By Itay P. Fainmesser; Andrea Galeotti
  7. Open Source Software Subsidies and Network Compatibility in a Mixed Duopoly By Thierry Pénard; Mourad Zeroukhi
  8. An Offshoring Setup By Martín Tobal
  9. Lehrverbesserung durch Online-Tests: Effekte der Eigenarbeit von Studierenden By Pleier, Thomas; Mangold, Benedikt
  10. Regelwerke der IT-Compliance - Klassifikation und Übersicht, Teil 2: Normen By Klotz, Michael

  1. By: Cumps, B.; Vanden Eynde, O.; Viaene, Stijn
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Fairlie, Robert W.; Grunberg, Samantha H.
    Abstract: Access to information may represent an important barrier to learning about and ultimately transferring to 4-year colleges for low-income community college students.  This paper explores the role that access to information technology, in particular, plays in enhancing, or possibly detracting from, the transfer function of the community college.  Using data from the first-ever field experiment randomly providing free computers to students, we examine the relationships between access to home computers and enrollment in transferable courses and actual transfers to 4-year colleges.  The results from the field experiment indicate that the treatment group of students receiving free computers has a 4.5 percentage point higher probability of taking transferable courses than the control group of students not receiving free computers.  The evidence is less clear for the effects on actual transfers to 4-year colleges and the probability of using a computer to search for college information (which possibly represents one of the mechanisms for positive effects).  In both cases, point estimates are positive, but the confidence intervals are wide.  Finally, power calculations indicate that sample sizes would have to be considerably larger to find statistically significant treatment effects and reasonably precise confidence intervals given the actual transfer rate point estimates.  
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, education, community college, transfers, technology, computers, digital divide, experiment
    Date: 2013–11–01
  3. By: Gong, Zheng; Tian, Feng; Xu, Boyan
    Abstract: We analyze a model in which agents’ decisions to enter or exit investments are influenced from their individual and external parties’ transaction histories. Actual investment outcomes are unknown to all participants until the end of decision periods, but outcomes do change depending on the number of participating players in the market and the market’s current state of condition. In this particular model, agents have access to external parties’ information from those who are within their specific social network. Our study of limited information aggregation mainly focuses on market responses to investors’ decisions of exiting the investment. With social structures complicating investment outcomes, we present a model that describes how markets can enter relatively stable statuses long enough for exiting participants to return, which brings the investment back to normal conditions. Our model also supports previous studies that limited information aggregation can cause the exogenous shock effect of global collapse.
    Keywords: Information aggregation, Social structure, Internet Externality, Simulation
    JEL: D83 D85
    Date: 2013–12–04
  4. By: Saltari, Enrico; Federici, Daniela
    Abstract: In Saltari et al. (2012, 2013) we estimated a dynamic model of the Italian economy. The main result of those papers is that the weakness of the Italian economy in the last two decades is due to the total factor productivity slowdown. In those models the information and communication technology (ICT) capital stock plays a key role in boosting the efficiency of the traditional capital, and hence of the whole economy. The ICT contribution is captured in a multiplicative way through a weighting factor. The other key parameter at center of our model to explain the Italian productivity decline is the elasticity of substitution. Recent literature provides estimates well below 1 -- thus rejecting the traditional Cobb-Douglas production function -- though there is no particular value on which the consensus converges. In our opinion, however, these estimates are affected by a specification problem, which has theoretical roots. The technological parameters are long run in nature but the estimates are based on short-run data: the "real" issue is to bridge this gap. Our aim is to look more deeply into the estimation procedure of the technological parameters. The standard estimation results present a common fundamental problem of serially correlated residuals so that the standard errors will be under-estimated (i.e. biased downwards). We think that at the root of this problem there are two theoretical issues: the estimated models are static in nature and do not incorporate frictions and rigidities. Our modelling strategy takes into account, though implicitly, adjustment costs without leaving out the optimization hypothesis. Although we cannot in general say that these properties get rid of the serial correlation problem, the correlation statistics for our model does show that residuals are not serially correlated.
    Keywords: Keywords: CES production function; Elasticity of substitution; Income distribution; Factor-augmenting technical progress and ICT technical change.
    JEL: C30 E22 E23 O33
    Date: 2013–12–13
  5. By: Fairlie, Robert W.; Robinson, Jonathan
    Abstract: Computers are an important part of modern education, yet many schoolchildren lack access to a computer at home. We test whether this impedes educational achievement by conducting the largest-ever field experiment that randomly provides free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other "intermediate" inputs in education.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, education, technology, digital divide, experiment, computers
    Date: 2013–01–01
  6. By: Itay P. Fainmesser; Andrea Galeotti
    Abstract: The business model of companies such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, relies on mon- etizing the information on the interactions and in uences of their users. How valuable is such information, and is its use benecial or detrimental for consumer welfare? We study these questions in a model where a monopoly sells a network good and may price discriminate using network information: information on consumers in uences and/or on consumers susceptibili- ties to influence. Our framework incorporates a rich set of market products, including goods characterized by global and local network effects. We derive results on the value of network information and determine under which conditions, relative to uniform price, consumer surplus increases. We demonstrate the applicability of our framework using survey data on various types of relationships.
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Thierry Pénard (University of Rennes 1, CREM CNRS UMR 6211 and IDEC); Mourad Zeroukhi (Foundation of the University of Rennes 1, CREM CNRS UMR 6211 and IDEC)
    Abstract: For many applications, open source software (OSS) can o¤er a high-quality alternative to proprietary software (e.g. Linux, Apache, Android,...). But even if OSS is usually free of charge, its installation and use require some skills. Should the government intervene to promote the di¤usion of OSS and provide some learning or …nancial support to potential adopters? This paper examines whether public subsidies towards open source software is socially desirable and how the extent of compatibility between open source software and proprietary software can infuence the amount of subsidies. We consider a mixed duopoly model in which a proprietary software (PS) company competes with an open source software (OSS) community. Users are heterogeneous in their ability to use OSS, and their utility depends on the number of users who have adopted the same software or a compatible software (existence of network externalities). Four situations are distinguished: full compatibility between OSS and PS, full incompatibility, and one-way compatibility (either only OSS or PS is compatible). We show that if the government only takes care of consumer surplus, public subsidies are welfare-enhancing. But the optimal level of subsidies is larger with full compatibility and PS compatibility than full incompatibility and OSS compatibility. These results suggest that government policy towards OSS must be conditional to the degree of compatibility between PS and OSS.
    Keywords: Open source software, Public subsidy, Network compatibility
    JEL: L11 L15 L17 L38
    Date: 2013–11
  8. By: Martín Tobal (Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA))
    Abstract: This paper builds a model of trade in final goods that differ in skill-intensity and intermediate tasks that differ in tradability. A skill -abundant country whose final goods productivity is high relative to the rest of the world is shown to import (more unskilled tasks than skilled tasks, given identical tradability schedules for the latter and the former
    Keywords: Offshoring; ICT Revolution and Labor Tasks.
    JEL: F16
    Date: 2013–07
  9. By: Pleier, Thomas; Mangold, Benedikt
    Abstract: Ein Anreizsystem zur kontinuierlichen Mitarbeit wird als Mittel zur Verbesserung der universitären Lehre vorgestellt. Da Missbrauchsmöglichkeiten bestehen, kommen bei der qualitativen Erfolgsanalyse Zweifel auf, ob die Anreize an der richtigen Stelle greifen. Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, die vorliegenden Zweifel zu zerstreuen. Dabei steht die Quantifizierung des Effekts der Mitarbeit auf den Lernerfolg im Mittelpunkt. In der konfirmatorischen Analyse des aufgestellten Modells wird der positive Effekt der Lehrverbesserung sichtbar. Das beschriebene Anreizsystem wird, trotz Anfälligkeit, zur Fortsetzung empfohlen - allerdings wird verstärkte Kontrolle nahegelegt. --
    Keywords: Mitarbeit,Studium,Lernerfolg,Lehrverbesserung,LISREL
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Klotz, Michael
    Abstract: IT-Compliance bezeichnet einen Zustand, in dem alle die IT des Unternehmens betreffenden und verbindlich vorgegebenen bzw. als verbindlich akzeptierten Vorgaben nachweislich eingehalten werden. Diese Vorgaben resultieren nicht zuletzt auch aus Normen. Eine Norm ist ein Standard, der von einer Normungsorganisation als Ergebnis eines systematischen, festgelegten Normungsverfahrens beschlossen und veröffentlicht wurde. Dieses Arbeitspapier richtet sich demgemäß auf aktuelle Normen, die für das IT-Management von Bedeutung sind. Als relevante Normungsorganisationen werden die International Organization for Standardization (ISO) und die International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) sowie das Deutsche Institut für Normung (DIN) berücksichtigt. Die Spannbreite reicht von viel diskutierten ISO/IEC-Normen, beispielsweise der ISO/ IEC 270xx-Reihe oder der ISO/IEC 20000 über die IT-Governance-Norm ISO/IEC 38500 bis hin zu wenig bekannteren DIN-Normen, wie z. B. der DIN 66271 zum Umgang mit Softwarefehlern. Jede Beschreibung enthält eine prägnante Inhaltsangabe, den formellen Status der Norm und Links für die eigene Recherche. Auch dieses Arbeitspapier soll wieder eine Hilfestellung für den Praktiker sein, der sich schnell hinsichtlich relevanter IT-Normen orientieren will. --
    Keywords: DIN,IEC,ISO,IT-Compliance,IT-Management,Normen,Standards
    JEL: L15 M10 M21 M42
    Date: 2013

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