nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2015‒01‒26
four papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. ICT and economic growth: Comparing developing, emerging and developed countries By Niebel, Thomas
  2. Does Broadband Matter for Rural Entrepreneurs or ‘Creative Class’ Employees? By Conley, Kelsey; Whitacre, Brian
  3. Transnational Business and Relational Contracting 2.0 By Thomas Dietz
  4. Assessing the Value of Broadband Connectivity for Big Data and Telematics: Technical Efficiency By Mark, Tyler; Whitacre, Brian; Griffin, Terry

  1. By: Niebel, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on economic growth in developing, emerging and developed countries. It is based on a sample of 59 countries for the period 1995 to 2010. Various panel data regressions confirm the positive relationship between ICT capital and GDP growth. The regressions for the subsamples of developing, emerging and developed countries do not reveal statistically significant differences of the output elasticity of ICT between these three country groups.
    Keywords: ICT,Economic Growth
    JEL: E22 J24 O47
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Conley, Kelsey; Whitacre, Brian
    Abstract: Broadband, or high-speed Internet access, has changed the way our society operates; yet there are still parts of rural American where the connection is lagging behind. Closing the ‘digital divide’ is a priority on rural America’s agenda, with government programs focusing on providing broadband infrastructure to unserved (or underserved) areas. An unanswered question, however, is whether a relationship exists between broadband availability and the existence of entrepreneurs or ‘creative class’ workers in rural communities. These types of workers have been shown to be particularly important for economic growth in rural areas. One relevant hypothesis is that some threshold related to broadband exists (a specific download speed, or number of providers) that is positively related to the existence of rural entrepreneurs; such a finding would have meaningful implications for future U.S. broadband policy. This research explores this relationship using county-level data from the 2012 National Broadband Map and measures of entrepreneurship and creative class employees from the Census and ERS. Spatial econometric tools are used to assess the cross-section relationship as of 2012. First-differenced regressions are also used to determine whether increasing levels of broadband have influenced changes in entrepreneurship or creative class employees in rural areas over time.
    Keywords: rural America, rural entrepreneurs, broadband adoption, broadband availability, creative class, spatial econometric, first-differenced, Community/Rural/Urban Development,
    Date: 2015–01–15
  3. By: Thomas Dietz (University of Muenster - Institute of Political Science & ZenTra)
    Abstract: First, this article proposes that the rise of the Internet and further information- and communication technologies (ICT) has facilitated the evolution of a new, virtual form of relational contracts. This hypothesis is developed inductively by drawing on the results of an explorative empirical study about cross-border software development contracts. Although virtual social ties and networks do not promote the type of high-trust relations that are central to traditional relational contract theory, they reduce information asymmetries between transaction partners and facilitate the evolution of almost unrestricted virtual reputational networks. Relational contracts 2.0 emerge on the basis of ICT enabled transparency, controls and sanctioning tools. Second, the article discusses these results in the light of the wider theoretical debate about the institutional foundations of modern markets. Most importantly, it will be argued that modern ICT has significantly improved the economic performance of relational contracts. Relational contracts 2.0 are no longer restricted to small communities and long-term relationships, but are also able to allow exchange between unknown actors within competitive markets. Relational contracts 2.0 therefore do not oppose market expansions, but become mechanisms that actively promote such economic modernisation processes. The virtual society promotes the evolution of virtual relational contracts.
    Keywords: Contract Theory, Informal Norms, Relational Contract, Virtual Ties, Software-Industry
    JEL: A14 B15 L14 K12
    Date: 2015–01
  4. By: Mark, Tyler; Whitacre, Brian; Griffin, Terry
    Abstract: Researchers and practitioners of precision agricultural technology have worked to overcome adoption, cost, and environmental obstacles since its introduction. The next gap in the adoption continuum of profitable precision agricultural technologies is data and data use, the so-called Big Data. Broadband connectivity could be the next hurdle affecting the precision agricultural technology chain and the employment of ‘big data’ and telematics services. Without adequate connectivity the transferring of ‘big data’ from machine-to-machine or to the cloud, inefficiencies are created. These inefficiencies come in the forms of machine downtime, increased human error, and lack of real-time information. We have addressed this issue in a conceptual framework by proposing a non-parametric data envelopment analysis. Simulation and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) are utilized to evaluate differing levels of data utilization made possible by broadband internet connectivity. The DEA methodology is useful to estimate the foregone societal value and farm-level profitability due to lack of broadband connectivity. In addition to constraining the profitability of agricultural firms; lack of broadband connectivity limits the adoption of precision agricultural technologies that make use of or relies upon near real time connectivity. The expected results are that producers that have adequate connectivity to employ ‘big data’ and telematics will be more efficient than producers without. Thus, the importance of adequate connectivity can be evaluated.
    Keywords: broadband, big data, telematics, data transfer, wireless, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Production Economics, Q10 D85,
    Date: 2015

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