nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2014‒01‒24
two papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. ICT and the demand for energy: Evidence from OECD countries By Rexhaeuser, Sascha; Schulte, Patrick; Welsch, Heinz
  2. Digital Discrimination: The Case of By Benjamin Edelman; Micahel Luca

  1. By: Rexhaeuser, Sascha; Schulte, Patrick; Welsch, Heinz
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between information and communication technology (ICT) and energy demand. We construct a comprehensive cross-country cross-industry panel data set covering 13 years, 10 OECD countries, and 27 industries. Using up to 2889 country-industry observations, we find that: (1) ICT capital is associated with a significant reduction in energy demand. (2) This relationship differs with regard to different types of energy. ICT use is not significantly correlated with electricity demand, but is significantly related to a reduction in non-electric energy demand. That is, ICT use comes with a reduction in total energy demand and an increase in the relative demand for electric over non-electric energy. --
    Keywords: technical change,ICT,energy demand,energy efficiency,energy mix,Green IT,cross-country cross-industry data,environmental policy
    JEL: O33 O44 Q41 Q43
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Benjamin Edelman (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit); Micahel Luca (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)
    Abstract: Online marketplaces often contain information not only about products, but also about the people selling the products. In an effort to facilitate trust, many platforms encourage sellers to provide personal profiles and even to post pictures of themselves. However, these features may also facilitate discrimination based on sellers' race, gender, age, or other aspects of appearance. In this paper, we test for racial discrimination against landlords in the online rental marketplace Using a new data set combining pictures of all New York City landlords on Airbnb with their rental prices and information about quality of the rentals, we show that non-black hosts charge approximately 12% more than black hosts for the equivalent rental. These effects are robust when controlling for all information visible in the Airbnb marketplace. These findings highlight the prevalence of discrimination in online marketplaces, suggesting an important unintended consequence of a seemingly-routine mechanism for building trust.
    Date: 2014–01

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