nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2014‒12‒19
seven papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. The impact of Broadband quality standards on Internet services market structure in Colombia By Hidalgo, Julian; Oviedo, Juan D.
  2. Estimating demand for quadruple-play tariffs: The impact on consumer surplus By Grzybowski, Lukasz; Liang, Julienne
  3. La banda larga del Veneto: stato, orientamenti e politiche By Matteucci, Nicola
  4. Are intangibles more productive in ICT-intensive industries? Evidence from EU countries By Chen, Wen; Niebel, Thomas; Saam, Marianne
  5. Combining technology and work organization: An analysis of complementarity between IT and decentralization across firms of different size By Rasel, Fabienne
  6. The willingness to sell personal data By Benndorf, Volker; Normann, Hans-Theo
  7. The Impact of a One Laptop per Child Program on Learning: Evidence from Uruguay By De Melo, Gioia; Machado, Alina; Miranda, Alfonso

  1. By: Hidalgo, Julian; Oviedo, Juan D.
    Abstract: This paper develops a structural model which allows estimating the impact of regulatory decisions looking for the setting of download-speed standards on market structure and performance. We characterize a setting under which quality standards improve both service quality and availability. As to quality, we evaluate the impact of quality standards on the performance of local demand from a detailed database of broadband internet subscribers, discriminated by the main attributes of an internet subscription contract as location, supplier, monthly-fee, download- and upload-speed features. From these results, we are able to identify the effect of quality regulation on the behavior of internet providers in a differentiated product market approach. As a consequence, we are able to assert that the response of internet service providers to quality regulation is a more intense product differentiation that contributes to demand expansion and therefore to improve broadband penetration indicators.
    Keywords: Regulation,Telecommunication,Information Services,Internet Economics
    JEL: L51 L96 L86
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Grzybowski, Lukasz; Liang, Julienne
    Abstract: This paper estimates demand for quadruple play mobile tariffs using a database of subscribers to a single mobile operator from a single town in a European country which has full coverage with both ADSL and FTTH broadband technologies. Based on the demand estimation we find that consumer valuation of FTTH broadband in 2013 increased over time while ADSL lost on attractiveness relative to FTTH but also in absolute terms, which suggests that consumers increasingly care about the speed of connection offered by FTTH. The consumer surplus increased substantially due to the introduction of quadruple play tariffs, and especially with the introduction of FTTH, and ongoing transition of consumers from less valued quadruple play tariffs with ADSL to more valued with FTTH. We also find that for quadruple play subscribers mobile data is complementary to fixed broadband access, which suggests that these consumers use Internet access via mobile handsets to sample online content but they complete their online activity using fixed Internet access at home. On the other hand, mobile voice usage is a substitute to fixed broadband access and consumers reduce their voice consumption once they get broadband connection. We also find that there are substantial switching costs between tariffs, which other things being equal greatly decrease consumer surplus.
    Keywords: Quadruple play,FTTH,ADSL,Mobile data,Switching costs
    JEL: L13 L43 L96
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Matteucci, Nicola
    Abstract: The implementation of DAE (Digital Agenda for Europe) progresses, and by 2013 a first main target – the universal coverage of basic broadband - should have been achieved within the EU. Unfortunately, member states and regions continue to show persistent differences in terms of Information Society developments. Regional policies also differ, and these can play a substantial role – especially with supply-side investments targeted at the solution of the infrastructural digital divide. We focus on the case of Veneto region, where ICT and broadband developments are correctly perceived to be an essential ingredient to cope with the economic recession and industrial decline. After critically examining the condition and the recent evolution of regional broadband supply , we try to assess the main policies. On overall, our analysis positively evaluates the regional policy-making, while at the same time recognizing that the shortcomings of the initial situation (geographic morphology of the territory, technical conditions of the existing copper network, demographic characteristics and the territorially dispersed model of economic activity) call for stronger public financial means - lacking private incentives. Moreover, we generalize our analysis looking at the next challenges posed by the current transition to NGAN.
    Keywords: Broadband; Digital divide; Infrastructural investments; Digital Agenda for Europe; Veneto region.
    JEL: L96 O33 R53 R58
    Date: 2014–06
  4. By: Chen, Wen; Niebel, Thomas; Saam, Marianne
    Abstract: Using sectoral intangible investment data we confirm that intangible capital is a significant determinant of labour productivity growth. The sectoral setting further allows us to identify the differential impacts of intangible capital across industries with varying degrees of ICT intensity. Intangible capital appears to be significantly more productive in ICT-intensive sectors than in those that use little ICT. This finding remains robust across various alternative industry ICT intensity measures and aligns with the prior firm-level studies that place emphasis on the complementary role of intangible assets in ICT investment.
    Keywords: Intangible capital,ICT,economic growth,labour productivity
    JEL: E22 J24 O47
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Rasel, Fabienne
    Abstract: This paper examines whether information technology (IT) and decentralized work organization are complementary only for large firms or also for smaller firms. Empirical evidence, which suggests complementarity between IT and decentralization, is mainly based on large firms. Using data from a sample of 3292 SMEs and of 598 larger firms from the manufacturing and service sector in Germany, I can observe firms' IT intensity in terms of enterprise software and computer use and whether firms have a decentralized work organization. I find that SMEs with decentralized work practices tend to use IT more intensively. Moreover, for the sample of SMEs, IT and decentralized work organization are individually associated with higher productivity but the combination of IT and decentralization does not yield a productivity premium. Contrarily, for the sample of larger firms, the results show that the productivity of IT depends positively on decentralization. The findings suggest that combining IT and decentralized work organization seems to be a successful strategy only for larger firms.
    Keywords: information technology,decentralized work organization,complementarity,productivity,enterprise software,firm-level data
    JEL: D22 D24 L20 O33
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Benndorf, Volker; Normann, Hans-Theo
    Abstract: We elicit the willingness to sell personal data (contact information, Facebook details, preferences) in laboratory experiments, using a BDM and take-it-or-leave-it offers. Our experiments are novel in that (i) the experiments are incentivized, (ii) the focus on privacy issues is salient, and (iii) the use of the data - marketing purposes - is transparent and unambiguous. We find that only a minority of about 10% to 20% of the participants are unwilling to sell personal data, a share which is roughly constant across both the type of personal data and elicitation method. Subjects willing to sell request about € 15 for their contact details and € 19 for Facebook details.
    Keywords: privacy,preference elicitation,valuation of personal data
    JEL: C90 C91 C81
    Date: 2014
  7. By: De Melo, Gioia (Banco de México); Machado, Alina (IECON, Universidad de la República); Miranda, Alfonso (CIDE, Mexico City)
    Abstract: We present evidence on the impact on students' math and reading scores of one of the largest deployments of an OLPC program and the only one implemented at a national scale: Plan Ceibal in Uruguay. Unlike previous work in the field, we have unique data that allow us to know the exact date of laptop delivery for every student in the sample. This gives us the ability to use a continuous treatment, where days of exposure are used as a treatment intensity measure. We use a panel data framework including fixed effects at the individual level. Given that there is some variation in the date of laptop delivery across individuals within the same school, we can identify the effect of the program net of potential heterogeneity in the rate schools gain improvements on student's achievement over time in the absence of the OLPC program across the country (i.e. we allow each school to follow a different learning growth curve over time due to unobservable time-varying heterogeneity). We also run an alternative specification where we allow for different learning growth curves over time between schools located in Montevideo and the rest of Uruguay. Our results suggest that in the first two years of its implementation the program had no effects on math and reading scores. The zero effect could be explained by the fact that laptops in class are mainly used to search for information on the internet.
    Keywords: impact evaluation, education, technology
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2014–09

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