nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2014‒08‒25
eleven papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Has the digital divide been reversed? Evidence from five EU countries By Smaranda Pantea; Bertin Martens
  2. Access Network Speed Tests By OECD
  3. Investigating the Effects of ICT on Innovation and Performance of European Hospitals: An Exploratory Study By Spyros Arvanitis; Euripidis N. Loukis
  4. Public Service Delivery: Role of Information and Communication Technology in Improving Governance and Development Impact By Bhatnagar, Subhash
  5. The impact of tariff diversity on broadband diffusion: An empirical analysis By Haucap, Justus; Heimeshoff, Ulrich; Lange, Mirjam R. J.
  6. ICT-induced Technological Progress and Employment: a Happy Marriage or a Dangerous Liaison? A Literature Review By Anna Sabadash
  7. Measuring the Impact of eInclusion Actors. Impact Assessment Framework Main Report and Annex – MIREIA eI2-IAF Toolkit By Gianluca MISURACA; Clara CENTENO; Cristina TORRECILLAS
  8. Fixed and mobile broadband; Are they substitutes or complements? By Jong-Hee Hahn; Yun Jeong Choi; Jinsoo Bae
  9. A Short-Run View of What Computers Do: Evidence from a UK Tax Incentive By Paul Gaggl; Gregg C Wright
  10. The Impact of ICT on Productivity: Evidence from Turkish Manufacturing Industry By Kılıçaslan, Yılmaz; Kayış, Aliye Atay; Sickles, Robin; Üçdoğruk, Yeşim
  11. Analysing the prospects for transactional Mail using a sender-recipient framework By De Donder, Philippe; Cremer, Helmuth; Rodriguez, Frank; Soteri, Soterios; Tobias, Stefan

  1. By: Smaranda Pantea (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether there is a digital divide in the use of the internet in general and for specific purposes (leisure, improving human capital and obtaining goods and services). It uses a unique dataset which covers the entire clickstream of almost 20,000 internet users in the five largest EU economies during 2011. Our main finding is that, for those who have access to the Internet, the income-based digital divide in internet use has been reversed. Low-income internet users spend more time on the internet than high-income users. In addition, we find that employment status does not change the effect of income on internet use and we discuss several possible explanations for this result. There is some evidence of an education-based digital divide in the use of human capital and goods & services websites. Tertiary education has a negative effect on time spent on leisure websites and a positive effect on time spent on human capital and goods & services websites. Using quantile regressions, we find that the negative effect of income and the positive effect of education for human capital and goods & services websites hold for the entire conditional distribution of these online activities. Moreover, these effects are stronger for more intensive internet users.
    Keywords: Internet Use, Time allocation, Leisure, digital divide
    JEL: L86 D12 D13
    Date: 2013–04
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: This report examines the approaches being taken to measure broadband performance by reviewing information on official speed tests to date as well as their strengths and drawbacks in methodologies, emerging good practices and the challenges in undertaking a harmonised approach across OECD countries. Measurement projects for Internet connection performance face greater potential hurdles than for traditional telecommunication networks, while at the same time, new opportunities are emerging in terms of “crowd-sourced” data collected through applications installed by users. The report provides classification of those measurement approaches with suggestions on how they can be selected and implemented depending on different policy goals.
    Date: 2014–06–13
  3. By: Spyros Arvanitis (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Euripidis N. Loukis (University of the Aegean, Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering, Greece)
    Abstract: Hospitals are making big investments in various types of ICT, so it is important to investigate their effects on innovation and performance. In this paper is presented an empirical study in this direction, based on data for 743 hospitals from 18 European countries, which were collected in the course of the e-Business Survey of the European Union. We specified and estimated econometrically five equations: one for product innovation, one for process innovation and three equations for the three different dimensions of (ICT-enabled) hospital performance that are taken into consideration in this study. All five equations included various ICT-related variables reflecting ICT infrastructure and a series of important ICT applications, some of them hospital-specific, and some others of general business use, and also ICT personnel (viewed as a kind of ‘soft’ ICT investment), as right-hand variables, while the performance equations also included the two innovation measures. The study contributes threefold to literature. First, it is to our knowledge the first comprehensive study of this kind for European hospitals. Second, it analyzes the effects of various types of ICT on innovation and (ICT-enabled) economic performance of hospitals in an integrated framework. Third, it is based on relatively detailed information on ICT infrastructure and specific ICT applications, both health-specific and general, and also ICT personnel, examining and comparing their effects on innovation and economic performance.
    Keywords: hospitals, innovation, performance, ICT use
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Bhatnagar, Subhash (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad)
    Abstract: The focus of this paper is on improving governance through the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the delivery of services to the poor, i.e., improving efficiency, accountability, and transparency, and reducing bribery. A number of papers recognize the potential benefits but they also point out that it has not been easy to harness this potential. This paper presents an analysis of effective case studies from developing countries where the benefits have reached a large number of poor citizens. It also identifies the critical success factors for wide-scale deployment. The paper includes cases on the use of ICTs in the management of delivery of public services in health, education, and provision of subsidized food. Cases on electronic delivery of government services, such as providing certificates and licenses to rural populations, which in turn provide entitlements to the poor for subsidized food, fertilizer, and health services are also included. ICT-enabled provision of information to enhance rural income is also covered.
    Keywords: e-governance; ICT for development; service delivery; anticorruption; transparency; process reform
    JEL: D73 H11 O30 O57
    Date: 2014–03–01
  5. By: Haucap, Justus; Heimeshoff, Ulrich; Lange, Mirjam R. J.
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis how tariff diversity affects fixed-line broadband uptake, utilizing a new data set with 1497 fixed-line and 2158 mobile broadband tariffs from 91 countries across the globe. An instrumental variable approach is applied to estimate demand, controlling for various industry and socio-economic factors. The empirical results indicate that, firstly, lower prices, more tariff diversity and higher income increase broadband penetration. Secondly, inter-platform competition and mobile broadband prices are not found to have a significant effect on fixed-line broadband penetration. This suggests that low prices and the diversity of broadband offerings are more important drivers of fixed broadband adoption than competition between various technologies (cable networks, fixed-line telephone networks, mobile networks). --
    Keywords: Broadband prices,Tariff diversity,Broadband demand,Broadband penetration,Broadband uptake,Price discrimination,Inter-platform competition
    JEL: L86 L96
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Anna Sabadash (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: While the EU economy is struggling with the joint consequences of the 2008-2009 recession and the sovereign-debt crisis, the theoretical and policy debate largely revolves around the role ICT play in the structural dynamics of the labour markets. However, despite a wealth of theoretical speculation and empirical evidence, a consensus regarding the employment effect of ICT remains elusive. This report provides an overview of current perspectives on the employment impact of ICT. The main objective of this paper is to convey the need for a careful and open-minded assessment of the relation between employment and ICT. This assessment is needed in order to capture the full complexity of the factors influencing this relation, the transmission mechanisms involved, and the associated labour market effects. Our review devotes equal space to each mainstream economic theory on the complex connection between ICT and employment, while giving greater emphasis to those studies which provide empirical support to sound theoretical grounds.
    Keywords: ICT, technological progress, innovation, employment, skills, occupations
    JEL: E24 J21 J23 O33
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Gianluca MISURACA (EC, JRC-IPTS, IS Unit); Clara CENTENO (EC, JRC-IPTS, IS Unit); Cristina TORRECILLAS (EC, JRC-IPTS, IS Unit)
    Abstract: This report presents the results of the research on ‘Measuring the Impact of eInclusion Actors on Digital Literacy, Skills and Inclusion Goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe’ conducted by JRC-IPTS and DG CONNECT. In particular it presents a comprehensive Impact Assessment Framework, the MIREIA eI2-IAF, which can be used to measure the socio-economic outputs, outcomes and impacts of eInclusion Intermediary actors in Europe. It includes both a conceptual model and an operational framework with guidelines for self-evaluation of practices, with specific regard to interventions addressed to the use of ICTs to enhance employability of groups at risk of exclusion. The research combined an analysis of literature and practice, and the development of an impact assessment framework which has been tested, through an action research approach, in four case studies at national and regional level, representing different interventions, target groups and contexts in Europe. The results of the research are a clear advancement with regards to impact assessment methodology in the area of eInclusion and the experimentation of counterfactual impact evaluation to assess the contribution of intermediaries to Europe 2020 goals. In this perspective, the report outlines research and policy recommendations suggesting that more in-depth research is required, and support should be given in particular to the setting-up of social experimentations which focus on the various dimensions of eInclusion, and promote the scaling-up and generalisation of the MIREIA eI2-IAF. This Report report is composed of a main report, accompanied by the Annex - MIREIA eI2-IAF Toolkit, as a separate document, but forming integral part of the report. This includes the practical tools composing the operational framework and guidelines for self-evaluation, as well as the full set of measurement indicators and the 'question bank' developed.
    Keywords: Digital Agenda, Europe 2020 Strategy, Digital Inclusion, Social Inclusion, Social Innovation, Impact Assessment, Evaluation, Intermediary actors, employability.
    JEL: I3 I30
    Date: 2014–05
  8. By: Jong-Hee Hahn (Yonsei University); Yun Jeong Choi (Yonsei University); Jinsoo Bae (Ohio State University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether fixed and mobile broadband services are substitutes or complements using firm-level panel data obtained from three major telecommunications operators in South Korea. We employ a multi-level demand model based on Hausman et al. (1994), which allow for the possibility of complementarity between differentiated services. The estimated price elasticities of demand indicate that mobile broadband is a (week) substitute for fixed broadband while fixed broadband is complementary to mobile broadband. This is in contrast with the previous studies based on logit models which essentially assume substitution between different technologies. This result implies that fixed and mobile internet services constitute distinctive antitrust markets at least in the early stage of mobile broadband development.
    Keywords: Mobile broadband, Fixed broadband, Substitution, Complementarity, Multi-level demand model.
    Date: 2014–07
  9. By: Paul Gaggl; Gregg C Wright
    Abstract: We study the short-run, causal effect of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) adoption on the employment and wage distribution, providing direct insight into how ICT alters the demand for work within the firm. We exploit a unique natural experiment generated by a generous tax allowance on ICT investments for small UK firms and find that the primary short-run effect of ICT is to complement non-routine congnitive-intensive work. At the same time, we find less extensive substitution for routine cognitive work, a result at odds with existing long-run extimates. We find no effect of ICT on manual work in the short run. Overall, ICT raises average labor productivity within the firm.
    Date: 2014–07–29
  10. By: Kılıçaslan, Yılmaz (Department of Economics, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey); Kayış, Aliye Atay (Department of Econometrics, Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey.); Sickles, Robin (Department of Economics, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA.); Üçdoğruk, Yeşim (Department of Economics, Dokuz Eylül University, Turkey)
    Abstract: This paper aims to explore the impact of ICT on output and/or productivity growth in Turkish manufacturing. The analysis is based on the firm level data obtain from Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) and covers the period from 2003 to 2010. Two different methodologies are used in exploring the impact of ICT on output growth or productivity. The first method is what is called “growth accounting”. This methodology decomposes output/productivity growth into its sources and shows how much of the growth is due to production factor changes or TFP. The second approach to TFP calculation and ICT impact analysis will be an econometric approach. Econometric modeling will be based both on static and dynamic panel data analysis, i.e. Generalized Methods of Moments (GMM). Our preliminary findings show that the impact of ICT capital is twice larger than that of conventional capital.
    Keywords: Productivity, TFP, ICT, manufacturing industry, Turkey
    JEL: D24 L60 O14
    Date: 2013
  11. By: De Donder, Philippe; Cremer, Helmuth; Rodriguez, Frank; Soteri, Soterios; Tobias, Stefan
    Abstract: We build an analytical model à la Hotelling describing the process of e-substitution in the market for transactional mail. A generic firm sells a final good to customers, with each unit sold requiring one unit of communication between firm and customer, which can take the form of either letter mail or of an e-substitute. A fraction of customers has no access to the e-substitute technology, and the other customers differ in their exogenous preference for mail vs substitute. Also, the communications strategy of the business impacts on the demand for its final product, with letter mail may be preferred for some types of communications, on the grounds that it could increase overall demand. We then calibrate the model and show how the extent of e-substitution depends on the distribution of preferences, the objective function of the representative firm, and on how much mail impacts the firm’s final demand. We conclude with suggestions as to how this analysis may inform a postal operator intent on slowing down e-substitution.
    Keywords: Hotelling, e-substitution, letters volume decline, postal economics
    JEL: L11 L87
    Date: 2014–06

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