nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2016‒07‒02
four papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Internet and Voting in the Web 2.0 Era: Evidence from a Local Broadband Policy By Samuele Poy; Simone Schüller
  2. Digital Convergence and Beyond: Innovation, Investment and Competition in Communication Policy and Regulation for the 21st Century By OECD
  3. Approaches to Defining and Measuring Russia’S Internet Economy By Gulnara Abdrakhmanova; Galina Gennadievna Kovaleva; Sergey M. Plaksin
  4. Adoption of New Information and Communications Technologies in the Workplace Today By Timothy Bresnahan; Pai-Ling Yin

  1. By: Samuele Poy; Simone Schüller
    Abstract: This article analyzes the impact of a local broadband expansion policy on electoral turnout and party vote share. We exploit a unique policy intervention involving staged broadband infrastructure installation across rural municipalities in the Province of Trento (Italy), thus generating a source of exogenous (spatial and temporal) variation in the provision of advanced broadband technology (ADSL2+). Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find positive effects of broadband availability on overall electoral turnout at national parliamentary elections. Party vote share analysis shows significant shifts across the ideological spectrum. These shifts, however, are likely transitory rather than persistent. Placebo estimations support a causal interpretation of our results. We provide further evidence that broadband availability is linked to actual adoption in that the broadband policy increased overall Internet and broadband take-up among private households.
    Keywords: Higher Broadband Internet, Political Participation, Voting Behavior, Quasi-Natural Experiment
    JEL: D72 L82 L86
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: The digital convergence anticipated during the 2008 Seoul Ministerial has become a reality. Historically, communication services were delivered via single-purpose dedicated networks (e.g. telephone, television). Many OECD countries now function with converged networks, facilitated by the Internet Protocol (IP) in which “bits” are the building blocks for transmission of all content and service – all “applications.” This process of convergence is steadily deepening as technology evolves and more and more activity shifts online. In particular, technological, service and business innovations both at the core and at the edge of the network are significantly affecting competitors, investors and consumers. This report identifies trends in convergence, the opportunities and challenges arising from these changes and suggests policies to meet them.
    Date: 2016–06–07
  3. By: Gulnara Abdrakhmanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Galina Gennadievna Kovaleva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Sergey M. Plaksin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Our study object is the Russian Internet economy, i.e. economic activities of companies relying on the Russian-language segment of the World Wide Web. The purpose of this study is to classify businesses engaged in the national Internet economy and measure its size (as a share of GDP) using official statistics. The analysis of international approaches used for such studies allowed us to classify these according to the following criteria: the direct impact of the Internet on the economy, indirect economic impact of the Internet, and its indirect impact on the social sphere. To assess the size of the Russian Internet economy we used the approaches applied by international organizations (OECD, BCG, McKinsey) for the analysis of the direct impact of the Internet on the economy [BCG (2014), McKinsey (2011), OECD (2014), etc.]. The authors singled out three sectors within the Internet economy: the sector of ICT infrastructure and its maintenance; the sector of companies doing business purely on the Internet, and the sector of companies combining an online and offline business. To assess the share of the Internet economy in GDP using the production approach we first defined the above sectors in accordance with All-Russian Classification of Economic Activities (OKVED) Rev. 1.1 and subsequently calculated gross value added (GVA) for each sector. For this purpose, the GVA data calculated by Federal Service of State Statistics (Rosstat) was disaggregated while the share of the GVA contributed by the third sector companies (i.e. combining an online and offline business) was assessed using the results of special surveys and Rosstat data. To measure the size of the Internet economy using the expenditure approach we focused on consumer spending on goods bought through the Internet, ICT equipment and Internet access as well as institutions’ expenditure for ICT equipment, fixed capital investment of enterprises engaged in Internet activities, public sector ICT spending, net exports of ICT goods and services. According to our estimates obtained by two methods such as the production approach and expenditure approach, the share of the Internet economy in GDP in 2014 amounted to 2.7 and 2.6%, respectively. Future studies would require a more detailed definition and description of the Internet-related economic activities on the basis of OKVED2 with subsequent calculation of GVA for appropriate companies as well as development of statistical tools for collecting data on household spending
    Keywords: Internet economy, online and offline business, Internet, System of National Accounts
    JEL: C80 F62 E01 L16 L81 M21 O14
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Timothy Bresnahan; Pai-Ling Yin
    Abstract: The invention of new applications based on information and communications technologies (ICTs) has had two economic effects up to now. These applications have transformed production, creating value for applications-inventing companies and their customers and increasing economic growth through quality improvements. The same applications have shifted the relative demand for different kinds of labor, raising the demand for already highly-compensated managers and professionals relative to other workers. This paper considers the likely impact of new ICT technologies coming into application in the workplace today in light of the economic and technical forces behind ICT application up to now.
    JEL: O3
    Date: 2016–06

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