nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2015‒03‒22
five papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. The Internet as a Data Source for Advancement in Social Sciences By Askitas, Nikos; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  2. The Interaction of Signals: A Fuzzy set Analysis of the Video Game Industry By Daniel Kaimann; Joe Cox
  3. Technological Development and Software Piracy By Romeu, Andrés; Martinez-Sanchez, Francisco
  4. Business Collaboration in Food Networks: Incremental Solution Development By Sundmaeker, Harald
  5. Information and Online Reviews By O. Loginova; A. Mantovani

  1. By: Askitas, Nikos (IZA); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA and University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper advocates the use of Internet data for social sciences with a special focus on human resources issues. It discusses the potentials and challenges of Internet data for social sciences and presents a selection of the relevant literature to establish the wide spectrum of topics, which can be reached. Such data represent a large and increasing part of everyday life, which cannot be measured otherwise. They are timely, perhaps even daily following the factual process, they typically involve large numbers of observations, and they allow for flexible conceptual forms and experimental settings. Internet data can successfully be applied to a very wide range of human resource issues including forecasting (e.g. of unemployment, consumption goods, tourism, festival winners and the like), nowcasting (obtaining relevant information much earlier than through traditional data collection techniques), detecting health issues and well-being (e.g. flu, malaise and ill-being during economic crises), documenting the matching process in various parts of individual life (e.g. jobs, partnership, shopping), and measuring complex processes where traditional data have known deficits (e.g. international migration, collective bargaining agreements in developing countries). Major problems in data analysis are still unsolved and more research on data reliability is needed. Current research is highly original but also exploratory and premature. Our article reviews the current attempts in the literature to incorporate Internet data into the mainstream of scholarly empirical research and guides the reader through this Special Issue. We provide some insights and a brief overview of the current state of research.
    Keywords: World Wide Web, web data, internet data, forecasting, human resources and the internet
    JEL: J00 C80 C81 C83
    Date: 2015–02
  2. By: Daniel Kaimann (University of Paderborn); Joe Cox (Portsmouth Business School)
    Abstract: Customers continuously evaluate the credibility and reliability of a range of signals both separately and jointly. However, existing econometric studies pay insufficient attention to the interactions and complex combinations of these signals, and are typically limited as a result of difficulties controlling for multicollinearity and endogeneity in their data. We develop a novel theoretical approach to address these issues and study different signaling effects (i.e., word-of-mouth, brand reputation, and distribution strategy) on customer perceptions. Using data on the US video games market, we apply a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to account for cause-effect relationships. The results of our study address a number of key issues in the economics and management literature. First, our results support the contention that reviews from professional critics act as a signal of product quality and therefore positively influence unit sales, as do the discriminatory effects of prices and restricted age ratings. Second, we find evidence to support the use of brand extension strategies as marketing tools that create spillover effects and support the launch of new products.
    Keywords: Signaling Theory, Information Asymmetry, Interactions, Fuzzy sets, Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Video Game Industry
    JEL: C18 D82 L10 L82
    Date: 2014–08
  3. By: Romeu, Andrés; Martinez-Sanchez, Francisco (Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the differences in piracy rates from one country to another. Like previous papers on the topic, we find that more developed countries have lower incentives for pirating. Unlike previous papers, we find that the piracy rate is positively correlated with the tax burden rate but negatively correlated with the domestic market size and exports over GDP. We also separate the impacts of education and R&D on piracy, and find two effects with opposite signs. Moreover, we find that those countries with smaller, more efficient bureaucracies are likely to protect intellectual property more effectively. Finally, we show that the spread of access to the Internet is negatively correlated with the software piracy rate.
    Keywords: piracy rate, education, R&D, quality bureaucracies, intellectual property, Internet
    JEL: D12 R23
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Sundmaeker, Harald
    Abstract: The paper will present an approach for an incremental solution development that is based on the usage of the currently developed Internet based FIspace business collaboration platform. Key element is the clear segmentation of infrastructures that are either internal or external to the collaborating business entity in the food network. On the one hand, the approach enables to differentiate between specific centralised as well as decentralised ways for data storage and hosting of IT based functionalities. The selection of specific data exchange protocols and data models is facilitated. On the other hand, the supported solution design and subsequent development is focusing on reusable “software Apps” that can be used on their own and are incorporating a clear added value for the business actors. It will be outlined on how to push the development and introduction of Apps that do not require basic changes of the existing infrastructure. The paper will present an example that is based on the development of a set of Apps for the exchange of product quality related information in food networks, specifically addressing fresh fruits and vegetables. It combines workflow support for data exchange from farm to retail as well as to provide quality feedback information to facilitate the business process improvement. Finally, the latest status of the FIspace platform development will be outlined. Key features and potential ways for “real users and software developers” in using the FIspace platform that is initiated by science and industry will be outlined.
    Keywords: Business Collaboration, Food Networks, App Development, FIspace, Future Internet, Fruits & Vegetables, Agribusiness,
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: O. Loginova; A. Mantovani
    Abstract: Online review aggregators, such as TripAdvisor, HotelClub and OpenTable help consumers identify the products and services that best match their preferences. The goal of this study is to understand the impact of online review aggregators on firms and consumers. We adopt Salop’s circular city model in which consumers initially do not know the locations of the firms in the product space. The firms decide whether or not to be listed on an online review aggregator’s website and choose their prices. When a firm resorts to the aggregator, its location and price become observable to the consumers who visit the website. We consider two different scenarios, depending on the possibility for online firms to offer discounts to the consumers who book online. We show that in equilibrium not all firms will go online – some will remain offline. Online firms attract more customers than their offline counterparts due to reduced mismatch costs, but face a tougher price competition. Comparing the equilibrium prices, profits and the number of firms that go online across the scenarios, we derive interesting conclusions from the private and the social standpoints.
    JEL: C72 D43 D61 L11 L13 M31
    Date: 2015–03

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