nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2016‒03‒23
five papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Returns to ICT skills By Oliver Falck; Alexandra Heimisch; Simon Wiederhold
  2. Cities, Data, and Digital Innovation By Mark Kleinman
  3. Explaining Industry Differences in IT Investment Per Worker Between Canada and the United States, 2002-2013 By Jasmin Thomas
  4. Innovation and competition in Internet and mobile banking: an industrial organization perspective By Mariotto, Carlotta; Verdier, Marianne
  5. Digitisation and European copyright protection: Between economic challenges and stakeholder interests By Möller, Marie

  1. By: Oliver Falck (University of Munich, ifo Institute and CESifo); Alexandra Heimisch (ifo Institute at the University of Munich); Simon Wiederhold (ifo Institute at the University of Munich and CESifo)
    Abstract: How important is mastering information and communication technologies (ICT) in modern labor markets? We present the first evidence on this question, drawing on unique data that provide internationally comparable information on ICT skills in 19 countries. Our identification strategy relies on the idea that Internet access is important in the formation of ICT skills, and we implement instrumental-variable models that leverage exogenous variation in Internet availability across countries and across German municipalities. ICT skills are substantially rewarded in the labor market: returns are at 8 percent for a one-standard-deviation increase in ICT skills in the international analysis and are almost twice as large in Germany. 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. Our results further suggest that the proliferation of computers complements workers in executing abstract tasks that require ICT skills.
    Keywords: ICT skills, broadband, earnings, international comparisons
    JEL: J31 L96 K23
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Mark Kleinman (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: Developments in digital innovation and the availability of large-scale data sets create opportunities for new economic activities and new ways of delivering city services while raising concerns about privacy. This paper defines the terms Big Data, Open Data, Open Government, and Smart Cities and uses two case studies – London (U.K.) and Toronto – to examine questions about using data to drive economic growth, improve the accountability of government to citizens, and offer more digitally enabled services. The paper notes that London has been one of a handful of cities at the forefront of the Open Data movement and has been successful in developing its high-tech sector, although it has so far been less innovative in the use of “smart city” technology to improve services and lower costs. Toronto has also made efforts to harness data, although it is behind London in promoting Open Data. Moreover, although Toronto has many assets that could contribute to innovation and economic growth, including a growing high-technology sector, world-class universities and research base, and its role as a leading financial centre, it lacks a clear narrative about how these assets could be used to promote the city. The paper draws some general conclusions about the links between data innovation and economic growth, and between open data and open government, as well as ways to use big data and technological innovation to ensure greater efficiency in the provision of city services.
    Keywords: cities, data, innovation
    JEL: H70 O38
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Jasmin Thomas
    Abstract: In the past, attention has been focused on the aggregate ICT investment per worker gap, but 49.8 per cent of lower business sector IT investment per worker in Canada relative to the United States in 2013 was explained by two industries: information and cultural industries and professional, scientific and technical services. The main objective of this report is to shed light on the possible reasons for the gap in these sectors, including data measurement and comparability issues stemming from methodological differences between statistical agencies in Canada and the United States, and differences in potential explanatory variables of IT investment, such as human capital, taxation, profits, firm creation rates, industrial structure, and regulation, among others.
    Keywords: Investment, Information and Communication Technology, Information Technology, ICT, IT, Productivity, Industries, Professional Services, Cultural Industries
    JEL: E22 O16 D24 L60 L70 L80 L90 N72 N32 N12
    Date: 2016–03
  4. By: Mariotto, Carlotta; Verdier, Marianne
    Abstract: Over the recent years, the development of Internet banking and mobile banking has had a considerable impact on competition in the retail banking industry. In some countries, the regulatory framework has been adapted to allow non-banks to operate in retail payments and compete with banks for deposits. Several platforms or large retailers have started to offer innovative financial products to their customers. In this paper, we survey the issues related to innovation and competition in Internet banking and mobile banking and discuss some perspectives for future research.
    Keywords: bank competition, bank regulation, non-banks, payment systems, Internet banking, mobile banking, platform markets
    JEL: E42 G21 L96
    Date: 2015–11–25
  5. By: Möller, Marie
    Abstract: The increasing digitisation necessitates amendments to copyright protection. Both the European Parliament and the European Commission have now presented proposals addressing this issue. This is necessary because the way in which creative goods are produced and distributed has been changed dramatically by digital technologies and the spread of the internet. One challenge that arises from this is the application of the Country of Origin principle and the resulting practice of geo-blocking. The resale of digital good represents another challenge in this context. Individual stakeholders have different interests with regard to copyright protection in a digital economy. For example, consumers (private or institutional users) have an interest in the resale of digital goods, whereas suppliers (authors, collecting societies, publishers) do not. The EU Parliament's proposal for copyright reform sides more with the suppliers than with the consumers. Future policy at EU level should attempt to create a clear, comprehensible legal framework and thus establish legal certainty.
    Abstract: Die fortschreitende Digitalisierung macht Anpassungen des Urheberschutzes erforderlich. Sowohl das Europäische Parlament als auch die Europäische Kommission haben dazu inzwischen Vorschläge vorgelegt. Hintergrund ist, dass die Art, wie kreative Güter produziert und verbreitet werden, durch digitale Technologien und die Verbreitung des Internet stark verändert wurde. Eine Herausforderung, die sich dadurch ergibt, ist die Anwendung des Ursprungslandprinzips und die daraus resultierende Praxis des Geo-Blocking. Eine weitere Herausforderung besteht in Bezug auf die Frage der Weiterveräußerung digitaler Güter. Die einzelnen Stakeholder haben unterschiedliche Interessen bezüglich der Problemfelder. So zeigt sich beispielsweise, dass die Konsumenten (private oder institutionelle Nutzer) ein Interesse an der Weiterveräußerung digitaler Güter haben, die Anbieterseite (Autoren, Verwertungsgesellschaften, Verleger) dieses hingegen nicht hat. Der Parlamentsvorschlag zur Urheberrechtsreform entspricht eher den gewünschten politischen Maßnahmen der Anbieter als denen der Nachfrager. Bei zukünftigen Entscheidungen auf EU-Ebene sollte versucht werden, einen nachvollziehbaren Rechtsrahmen zu schaffen und somit Rechtssicherheit zu erzeugen.
    JEL: O34 O33 K00
    Date: 2016

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