nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2014‒09‒25
three papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. The Effects of Home Computers on School Enrollment By Fairlie, Robert
  2. The case of the “Big Data” revolution By Jan Worst
  3. Whenever and Wherever: The Role of Card Acceptance in the Transaction Demand for Money By Huynh, Kim P.; Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp; Stix, Helmut

  1. By: Fairlie, Robert
    Abstract: Approximately 9 out of 10 high school students who have access to a home computer use that computer to complete school assignments. Do these home computers, however, improve educational outcomes? Using the Computer and Internet Use Supplement to the 2001 Current Population Survey, I explore whether access to home computers increases the likelihood of school enrollment among teenagers who have not graduated from high school. A comparison of school enrollment rates reveals that 95.2 percent of children who have home computers are enrolled in school, whereas only 85.4 percent of children who do not have home computers are enrolled in school. Controlling for family income, parental education, parental occupation and other observable characteristics in probit regressions for the probability of school enrollment, I find a difference of 1.4 percentage points. Although the evidence is mixed on whether the errors are correlated, I also estimate bivariate probit models for the joint probability of school enrollment and owning a home computer and find larger effects (7.7 percentage points). Use of computers and the Internet by the child's mother and father are used as exclusion restrictions. The estimates are not sensitive to alternative combinations of exclusion restrictions and alternative samples.
    Keywords: Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences, computers, technology, education, ICT
    Date: 2014–09–11
  2. By: Jan Worst (Maastricht School of Management)
    Abstract: In 2008 president Obama decided for an “open data” policy on governments’ data resources and opened since 2009 10th of thousands of data. The EU commission followed in 2009 with the “Open Forum” initiative []. Although the European Union opts for a policy to open up data resources member states made the restriction to do it in a structured form, until now the exposure is poor and traditional. The EU policy enclosing restrictions to “open” data, puts aside the neutrality (free entrance for all) of the Internet. The main difference [Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier, 2013] between control of data (according to its source: single data or metadata) by governments and the private sectors is: “Governments can force civilians and the private sector to submit and provide data”. H.V. Jagadish et al. 1 [2012] mention “Big Data” in the previous context as an overall system that focuses on data integration to make use of scale, bridge timelessness, complexity and privacy problems, which is currently influenced and controlled by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Firefox, Internet Explorer and similar competitive browsers. How do they collaborate with governments and the private sector? Collusive tacitly or more explicit? At present we have entered the era of the web 4.0. Van Rijmenam [2013] describes the development of the intelligent web in four era’s: (1) web 1.0 or the era of e-mail 1990 – 2000, (2) web 2.0 or the social web era 2000 – 2010, (3) web 3.0 or the semantic web era 2010 – 2020, and (4) web 4.0 or the intelligent web era 2020 and beyond. The web 4.0 or the intelligent web stands for reasoning, which includes the use of structured and unstructured data and has to meet criteria of validity, because “open” data, statistics, and analytics are fundamental and require a transparent environment, certification, and refutability. That’s what determines the value of Google, Twitter, Facebook, and their competitors. They are controlled by a new aristocracy of data possessors (fiefs, the feud), which in line with Adam Smith [The Wealth of Nations, 1776] represent a territory free from interference by the state. Who benefit the most? The governments, the private sector, or the civilians?
    Keywords: “Open Data”, “Big Data”, data and metadata, new aristocracy, web 4.0, collaboration
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Huynh, Kim P.; Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp; Stix, Helmut
    Abstract: The use of payment cards, either debit or credit, is becoming more and more widespread in developed economies. Nevertheless, the use of cash remains significant. We hypothesize that the lack of card acceptance at the point of sale is a key reason why cash continues to play an important role. We formulate a simple inventory model that predicts that the level of cash demand falls with an increase in card acceptance. We use detailed payment diary data from Austrian and Canadian consumers to test this model while accounting for the endogeneity of acceptance. Our results confirm that card acceptance exerts a substantial impact on the demand for cash. The estimate of the consumption elasticity (0.23 and 0.11 for Austria and Canada, respectively) is smaller than that predicted by the classic Baumol-Tobin inventory model (0.5). We conduct counterfactual experiments and quantify the effect of increased card acceptance on the demand for cash. Acceptance reduces the level of cash demand as well as its consumption elasticity.
    Keywords: Bank notes; Econometric and statistical methods; E-money; Financial services.
    JEL: E41 C35 C83
    Date: 2014–08–22

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