nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2016‒02‒17
seven papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Returns to ICT Skills By Wiederhold, Simon; Falck, Oliver; Heimisch, Alexandra
  2. ICT and Education: Evidence from Student Home Addresses By Weinhardt, Felix; Faber, Benjamin; Sanchis-Guarner, Rosa
  3. The platformization of digital markets: Comments on the public consultation of the European Commission on the regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy By Demary, Vera
  4. Purchase, Pirate, Publicize: The Effect of File Sharing on Album Sales By Jonathan Lee
  5. Mobile User Experience: Der Einfluss von kognitivem Entertainment auf die Nutzung mobiler Anwendungen By Zeiler, Vanessa
  6. Virtually No Effect? Different Uses of Classroom Computers and their Effect on Student Achievement By Wößmann, Ludger; Fack, Oliver; Mang, Constantin
  7. Does Exchange of Information Between Tax Authorities Influence Multinationals' Use of Tax Havens? By Braun, Julia; Weichenrieder, Alfons

  1. By: Wiederhold, Simon; Falck, Oliver; Heimisch, Alexandra
    Abstract: How important is mastering information and communications technology (ICT) in modern labor markets? Previous research offers no guidance in assessing the labor-market returns to ICT skills, primarily because skill data have been unavailable. We draw on unique data that provide internationally comparable information on ICT skills in 19 countries. Using an instrument that leverages cross-country variation in the technologically determined probability of having Internet access, we find that ICT skills are substantially rewarded in the labor market. Placebo estimations show that exogenous Internet availability cannot explain numeracy or literacy skills, suggesting that our identifying variation is independent of a person s general ability.
    JEL: J31 L96 K23
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Weinhardt, Felix; Faber, Benjamin; Sanchis-Guarner, Rosa
    Abstract: Governments around the world are making it a priority to upgrade information and communication technologies (ICT) with the aim to increase available internet connection speeds. This paper proposes a new empirical methodology to estimate the causal effect of these policies, and applies it to the question of how upgrades in ICT affect educational attainment. We draw on a new and unique collection of UK microdata that allows us for the first time to link administrative test score records for the population of English primary and secondary school students to the available ICT at their home addresses. To base estimations on exogenous variation in ICT, we notice that capacity constraints at telephone exchange stations lead to invisible and essentially randomly placed boundaries of station-level catchment areas that give rise to substantial and discontinuous jumps in the available ICT across space. Using this design across more than 20 thousand boundary segments in England, we find that even very large changes in available internet connection speeds have a precisely estimated zero effect on educational attainment, and that the estimates are causally identified: house prices, student socioeconomic characteristics and local amenities are flat across the boundaries. Guided by a simple theoretical framework we then bring to bear additional microdata on student time use and internet use to quantify the microeconomic channels underlying the zero reduced form effect. We find that faster connection speeds lead to a significant increase in student consumption of online content, but do not affect the amount of time spent online or the amount of time spent studying. We conclude that the elasticity of student demand for online content with respect to its per unit time cost is negative but bounded at -1, and that increased consumption of online content has no effect on learning productivity per unit of time spent studying.
    JEL: I21 D83 F15
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Demary, Vera
    Abstract: Online platforms play an increasingly important role in the European business landscape. Guided by questions from the European Commission's consultation on this topic, the paper aims to provide insight into the characteristics of online platforms and the resulting regulatory challenges. Issues such as the transparency of platforms or the organization of the Sharing Economy are currently under debate. Generally speaking, one main concern is that online platforms do not account for their users' interests sufficiently, resulting in hardly desirable market outcomes. The paper provides economic reasoning as to why this concern is not always justified and suggests possible policy measures in cases where regulatory action is necessary. The most important aspect being currently discussed in this context is the access to and the use of data. Data are at the center of most online platforms' business models. While regulation to ensure data protection is naturally important, this aspect is the main reason to refrain from overbearing regulation and to emphasize a rule-of-reason approach. European policy-makers need to find the balance between consumer protection and fostering new innovative business models.
    JEL: L14 L41 O33
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Jonathan Lee (Queen's University)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the relationship between private-network file sharing activity and music sales in the BitTorrent era. Using a panel dataset of 2,251 albums' U.S. sales and file sharing downloads on a private network during 2008, I estimate the effect of file sharing on album sales. Exogenous shocks to file sharing capacity address the simultaneity problem. In theory, piracy could crowd out legitimate sales by building file sharing capacity, but could also increase sales through word-of-mouth. I find evidence that additional file sharing decreases physical sales but increases digital sales for top-tier artists, though the effects are modest. I also find that file sharing may help mid-tier artists and substantially harms bottom-tier artists, suggesting that file sharing enables consumers to better discern quality among lesser-known artists.
    Keywords: intellectual property, copyright, file sharing, piracy, digital music
    JEL: L82 L86 O34
    Date: 2016–01
  5. By: Zeiler, Vanessa
    Abstract: Die wachsende Verbreitung und Nutzung des Smartphones erhöht die Relevanz von mobilen Inhalten für Konsumenten und Unternehmen. Innerhalb der Markenkommunikation bietet das mobile Medium die Möglichkeit, den Kunden direkt, personalisiert, überall und zu jederzeit mit der jeweiligen Botschaft zu erreichen. Die Interaktionsmöglichkeiten und die multi-sensuelle Ansprache erhöhen zudem die Bedeutung von Mobile Marketing für die Erzeugung von Markenerlebnissen. Aktuelle Studien im Bereich Mobile Marketing bestätigen die generelle Akzeptanz von mobilen Inhalten und identifizieren den wahrgenommene Unterhaltungsnutzen und das wahrgenommene Vergnügen als die wichtigsten akzeptanzfördernden Faktoren. Basierend auf diesen Akzeptanzforschungsstudien und Erkenntnissen der Sozialpsychologie, vor allem des Flow Erlebens, untersucht diese empirische Studie die Relevanz von Vergnügen und Unterhaltung für das positive subjektive Gesamterlebnis bei mobilen Anwendungen und identifiziert wichtige Einflussfaktoren. Es wird zunächst ein übergeordnetes Flow Konstrukt als optimales Erlebnis definiert (Kognitives Entertainment). Das Flow-Erleben gilt als optimales Erlebnis und ist bereits mehrfach zur Erklärung der Mensch-Computer Interaktion angewendet und empirisch belegt worden. Anschließend werden Hypothesen formuliert und ein Strukturmodell definiert, welches mit Hilfe einer empirischen Online-Studie getestet und anschließend statistisch verifiziert wird. Die Ergebnisse bestätigen kognitives Entertainment als wichtige Bedingung für die kontinuierliche Nutzung von mobilen Anwendungen. Emotionale Nutzen wie Freude und visuelles Design, sowie kognitive, wie Kontrolle, beeinflussen das Kognitive Entertainment dabei positiv. Die Erkenntnisse ermöglichen theoretische und praktische Implikationen für die Gestaltung relevanter mobiler Markeninhalte, welche die kontinuierlichen Nutzung unterstützen und aufgrund der positiven Erlebniserfahrung zudem ermöglichen, Mobile Marketing verstärkt zur Markenbildung einzusetzen.
    Keywords: Mobile User Experience,Flow-Erleben,Mobile Marketing,Kognitives Entertainment,Wahrgenommenes Vergnügen,Mobile Anwendungen
    JEL: M31 M37
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Wößmann, Ludger; Fack, Oliver; Mang, Constantin
    Abstract: Most studies find little to no effect of classroom computers on student achievement. We suggest that this null effect may combine positive effects of computer uses without equivalently effective alternative traditional teaching practices and negative effects of uses that substitute more effective teaching practices. Our correlated random effects models exploit within-student between-subject variation in different computer uses in the international TIMSS test. We find positive effects of using computers to look up information and negative effects of using computers to practice skills, resulting in overall null effects. Effects are smaller for low-SES students and mostly confined to developed countries.
    JEL: I21 I28 I20
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Braun, Julia; Weichenrieder, Alfons
    Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, countries offering tax systems that facilitate international tax avoidance and evasion have been facing growing political pressure to comply with the internationally agreed standards of exchange of tax information. Using data of German investments in tax havens, we find evidence that the conclusion of a bilateral tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) is associated with fewer operations in tax havens and the number of German affiliates has on average decreased by 46% compared to a control group. This suggests that firms invest in tax havens not only for their low tax rates but also for the secrecy they offer.
    JEL: F21 F23 H87
    Date: 2015

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