nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2014‒05‒04
five papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Characterisation and Mapping of eInclusion Intermediary Actors in the EU27 By Cristina Torrecillas Caro; Clara Centeno; Gianluca Misuraca
  2. Mapping and Analysing Prospective Technologies for Learning - Results from a Consultation with European Stakeholders and Roadmaps for Policy Action By Stefania Aceto; Spiros Borotis; Jim Devine; Thomas Fischer
  3. Mapping the European ICT Poles of Excellence: The Atlas of ICT Acitvity in Europe By Giuditta de Prato; Daniel Nepelski
  4. The Effect of Payment Reversibility on E-commerce and Postal Quality By Christian Jaag; Christian Bach
  5. Experimental games on networks: Underpinnings of behavior and equilibrium selection By Gary Charness; Francesco Feri; Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez; Matthias Sutter

  1. By: Cristina Torrecillas Caro (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Clara Centeno (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Gianluca Misuraca (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This report presents the main findings and policy recommendations of an analysis based on the results of an online survey of intermediary organisations working on eInclusion in 27 European countries. The survey, which is the first ever assessment of the e-Inclusion intermediary sector, collect relevant data from almost 3,000 including individual and network organisations that are representing more than 85,000 members. In addition, it is estimated a total of 250,000 organisations, or one e-Inclusion actor per every 2,000 inhabitants. According to the findings, these organisations are playing a relevant role in achieving the goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe, particularly in two of its action areas: enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion and ICT-enabled benefits for EU society. Moreover, most of organisations offer ICT-based, employment-related and other social services. In conclusion, there is a need for policy makers to recognize, empower and support the role and impact of these eInclusion intermediary actors, in support of the achievement of Europe 2020 economic and social goals. When considering these policy options, the important role that networks play among these actors needs to be acknowledged, mainly because of the high number of small organisations that characterize the sector..
    Keywords: eInclusion, Telecentres, Intermediaries, Networks, Digital Agenda, Europe 2020 Strategy, Digital Inclusion, Social Inclusion, Social Innovation
    JEL: I3 I30
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Stefania Aceto (MENON Network); Spiros Borotis (MENON Network); Jim Devine (DEVINE Policy|Projects|Innovation (and former President, IADT)); Thomas Fischer (MENON Network)
    Abstract: EU policies call for the strengthening of Europe’s innovative capacity and it is considered that the modernisation of Education and Training systems and technologies for learning will be a key enabler of educational innovation and change. This report brings evidence to the debate about the technologies that are expected to play a decisive role in shaping future learning strategies in the short to medium term (5-10 years from now) in three main learning domains: formal education and training; work-place and work-related learning; re-skilling and up-skilling strategies in a lifelong-learning continuum. This is the final report of the study ‘Mapping and analysing prospective technologies for learning (MATEL)' carried out by the MENON Network EEIG on behalf of the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. The report synthesises the main messages gathered from the three phases of the study: online consultation, state-of-the-art analysis and a roadmapping workshop. Eight technology clusters and a set of related key technologies that can enable learning innovation and educational change were identified. A number of these technologies were analysed to highlight their current and potential use in education, the relevant market trends and ongoing policy initiatives. Three roadmaps, one for each learning domain, were developed. These identified long-term goals and specific objectives for educational change, which in turn led to recommendations on the immediate strategies and actions to be undertaken by policy and decision makers.
    Keywords: Prospective technologies for learning, Formal education and training, work-place and work-related learning, Re-skilling and up-skilling strategies in lifelong-learning continuum, Europe 2020 Strategy, educational change, Innovation & Creativity in Education and Training, ICT-enabled innovation for learning, roadmapping
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 I29
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Giuditta de Prato (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Daniel Nepelski (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: The EIPE project aims to identify ICT R&D&I-related activities which are geographically concentrated and which demonstrate high performance in ICT innovative activities: the European ICT Poles of Excellence. This is the third EIPE Report and it presents the results of an empirical mapping of ICT activity in Europe and the ranking of the top European NUTS 3 regions based on their performance in the EIPE Composite Indicator (EIPE CI). It also ranks the individual 42 indicators which contributed to the building of the EIPE composite indicator. This report offers a snapshot of the performance of regions that are identified as the main locations of ICT activity in Europe. It is meant to provide a comprehensive picture of how ICT activity is distributed across Europe and where its main locations are. This information is expected to give a better overview of the European ICT landscape.
    Keywords: ICT; information and communication technologies; innovation, R&D, ICT industry; region; Europe; Poles of Excellence; clusters; indicators; methods
    JEL: O32 O52 R12 R28
    Date: 2014–04
  4. By: Christian Jaag; Christian Bach
    Abstract: In this paper we develop a stylized model of competition between brick-and-mortar merchants and online retailers. An offline transaction, matching payment with delivery, is without risk for both the seller and the buyer. In an online transaction the seller faces the potential risk of non-payment while the buyer risks failed delivery. The effects of these two risks depend on the reversibility of payment. While traditional payment systems for e-commerce are reversible, virtual currencies like Bitcoin offer irreversible transactions. This shifts the risk from the receiver of the payment to its sender. The paper explores the effect of payment reversibility on competition between offline and online merchants and on the importance of postal quality for e-commerce. It finds that payment irreversibility may strengthen e-commerce due to reduced overall risk. Moreover, under reasonable conditions, postal operators have stronger incentives for quality since it affects volumes more strongly if payment is irreversible.
    Keywords: Virtual Currencies, Bitcoin, E-Commerce
    JEL: L81
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: Gary Charness; Francesco Feri; Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: In this paper, we describe a series of laboratory experiments that implement specific examples of a more general network structure and we examine equilibrium selection. Specifically, actions are either strategic substitutes or strategic complements, and participants have either complete or incomplete information about the structure of a random network. Since economic environments typically have a considerable degree of complementarity or substitutability, this framework applies to a wide variety of settings. The degree of equilibrium play is striking, in particular with incomplete information. Behavior closely resembles the theoretical equilibrium whenever this is unique; when there are multiple equilibria, general features of networks, such as connectivity, clustering, and the degree of the players, help to predict informed behavior in the lab. People appear to be strongly attracted to maximizing aggregate payoffs (social efficiency), but there are forces that moderate this attraction: 1) people seem content with (in the aggregate) capturing only the lion’s share of the efficient profits in exchange for reduced exposure to loss, and 2) uncertainty about the network structure makes it considerably more difficult to coordinate on a demanding, but efficient, equilibrium that is typically implemented with complete information.
    Keywords: Random networks, Incomplete information, Connectivity, Clustering, Strategic substitutes, Strategic complements, Experiment
    JEL: C71 C91 D03 D85
    Date: 2014–04

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