nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2015‒08‒13
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. The Impact of Digital Skills on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Performance Tests By Laura Pagani; Gianluca Argentin; Marco Gui; Luca Stanca
  2. Does ICT Investment Spur or Hamper Offshoring? Empirical Evidence from Microdata By Benfratello, Luigi; Razzolini, Tiziano; Sembenelli, Alessandro
  3. Facility- and service-based competition and investment in fixed broadband networks: Lessons from a decade of access regulations in the European Union member states By Briglauer, Wolfgang; Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim
  4. Innovation in the European Digital Single Market: The Role of Patents By Chryssoula Pentheroudakis
  5. Addressing fragmentation in EU mobile telecom markets By Mario Mariniello; Francesco Salemi
  6. A Bayesian model to estimate causality in PISA scores: a tutorial with application to ICT By Stefano Cabras; Juan de Dios Tena

  1. By: Laura Pagani; Gianluca Argentin; Marco Gui; Luca Stanca
    Abstract: Digital skills are increasingly important for labor market outcomes and social participation. Do they also matter for academic performance? This paper investigates the effects of digital literacy on educational outcomes by merging data from the Italian National Assessment in secondary schools with an original data set on performance tests of Internet skills for 10th grade students. Our identification strategy relies on a rich set of individual, family, school and classroom control variables that are not commonly available in previous studies. The findings indicate that, overall, Internet skills have a positive impact on academic achievement. This effect is stronger for students with low academic performance or low family background. It is also stronger for students in technical or vocational schools.
    Keywords: Human capital, Academic achievement, Digital skills, Internet skills, Digital divide
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2015–07
  2. By: Benfratello, Luigi (University of Naples Federico II); Razzolini, Tiziano (University of Siena); Sembenelli, Alessandro (University of Turin)
    Abstract: We provide evidence on the effect of ICT investment on the propensity to offshore for a sample of Italian manufacturing firms. To deal with the endogeneity of ICT investment we adopt an innovative identification strategy based on the availability of local broad band facilities. Contrary to previous literature focusing on services, we find a negative effect of ICT on offshoring. Furthermore, when splitting the sample according to the technological level, the effect is negative and significant only in the sub-sample of low-tech firms. This suggests that ICT capital substitutes for foreign workers in performing routine tasks in low-tech industries.
    Keywords: ICT Investment, offshoring, maximum likelihood system estimation
    JEL: C34 C35 F20 L23
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Briglauer, Wolfgang; Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim
    Abstract: This paper employs firm-level panel data of 57 incumbent and entrant firms for 23 European countries in the decade from 2003 to 2012. We examine the impact of service- and facility-based competition on firm-level investment as well as the strategic effects underlying infrastructure investment decisions. At the same time we explicitly model the structural dynamics of broadband investment by means of a flexible accelerator model. The empirical specification employs dynamic panel estimation techniques which allows us to account for various sources of endogeneity. We find that facility-based competition exerts a positive and significant impact on both incumbents and entrants implying that incumbents' and entrants' investment decisions are strategic complements. Moreover, we find that intermodal competition in terms of fixed-mobile substitution exerts different effects at the firm level. Finally, we show that service-based competition appears to have no significant impact on the investment decision of incumbents and entrants. However, with respect to the later phase of market liberalization, service-based competition exerts a negative impact on entrants' investment. Our results thus also provide relevant policy guidance on the role of service-based competition in regulating emerging high-speed broadband infrastructure.
    Keywords: investment dynamics,regulation,service-based competition,facility-based competition,strategic effects
    JEL: L43 L52 L96
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Chryssoula Pentheroudakis
    Abstract: The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) organised the Conference "Innovation in the European digital single market - The Role of Patents". This conference aimed to provide reliable evidence based on patent data analysis to support European innovation policies for a Digital Single Market. The advancement of the digital economy in Europe does not only bring unmatched opportunities, but also a series of challenges in the area of intellectual property rights. This is particularly true for the patent system which has to strike the right balance between providing incentives for research and development investments while enabling at the same time the dissemination and re-use of technological knowledge. The difficulties of striking this balance are most apparent in the field of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), where standardization and interoperability are important for the implementation of a Digital Single Market. In order to pin down the role of patents in the new digital economy, it is important to look at the broader economic, legal, technological and policy context and achieve a better understanding of what is at stake in the current dynamics. It is a volatile landscape marked by patent wars, high litigation costs, overlapping rights, hold-up scenarios in the field of standardization and radical market shifts deriving from convergent technologies and emerging platform-centric business models. Against this background, the stakes are high with regards to many issues: interoperability, reasonable and timely access to key technologies and technical knowledge, legal certainty, unfettered competition and a secured return on investment in research and development.
    Keywords: Innovation, Digital Single Market, patents
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Mario Mariniello; Francesco Salemi
    Abstract: Highlights - Mobile telecommunications markets are an important part of the European Commissionâ?? strategy for the completion of the European Union Digital Single. The use of mobile telecommunications â?? particularly mobile data access â?? is growingand becoming an increasingly important input for the economy. - The EU currently does not have a unified mobile telecommunications market. TheEU compares favourably to the United States in terms of prices and connectionspeed, but lags behind in terms of coverage of high-speed 4G wireless connections.â?¢ Europeâ??s long-term goal should be to make data access easier by increasing highspeedwireless coverage while keeping prices down for users. An increase incross-border competition could help to achieve that goal. The Commission has two important levers to help stimulate cross-border supply:(a) ensuring competition in intra-country mobile markets in order to provide anincentive for operators to expand into other jurisdictions, and (b) reducing mobileoperatorsâ?? costs of expansion into multiple EU countries. The further developmentof policies on international roaming and radio spectrum management will be centralto this effort.
    Date: 2015–07
  6. By: Stefano Cabras; Juan de Dios Tena
    Abstract: This paper presents a step-by-step tutorial to estimate causal effects in PISA 2012 by means of a nonparametric Bayesian modeling approach known as Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (BART), with an illustration of the causal impact of ICT on Spanish students' performance. The R code is explained in a way that can be easily applied to other similar studies. The application shows that, compared to more traditional methodologies, the BART approach is particularly useful when a high-dimensional set of confounding variables is considered as its results are not based on a sampling hypothesis. BART allows for the estimation of different interactive effects between the treatment variable and other covariates. BART models do not require the analyst to make explicit subjective decisions in which covariates must be included in the final models. This makes it an easy procedure to guide policy makers' decisions in different contexts.
    Keywords: Causality in education , BART models , Propensity score
    Date: 2015–07

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