nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2016‒07‒09
two papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Internet and Voting in the Web 2.0 Era: Evidence from a Local Broadband Policy By Poy, Samuele; Schüller, Simone
  2. Regulatory Networks, Legal Federalism, and Multi-level Regulatory Systems By Wolfgang Kerber; Julia Wendel

  1. By: Poy, Samuele (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Schüller, Simone (CESifo)
    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: broadband internet, political participation, voting behavior, quasi-natural experiment
    JEL: D72 L82 L86
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Wolfgang Kerber (University of Marburg); Julia Wendel (University of Marburg)
    Abstract: Transnational regulatory networks play important roles in multi-level regulatory regimes, as e.g, the European Union. In this paper we analyze the role of regulatory networks from the perspective of the economic theory of legal federalism. Often sophisticated intermediate institutional solutions between pure centralisation and pure decentralisation can help to solve complex tradeoff problems between the benefits and problems of centralised and decentralised solutions. Drawing upon the insights of the political science literature about regulatory networks, we show that regulatory networks might be an institutional innovation that can fulfill a number of functions (rule-making, best practices and policylearning, effective enforcement, conflict resolution) that might allow for a better intermediate solution between centralised and decentralised regulatory powers. We apply our approach in three case studies to very different regulatory networks, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC), the European Competition Network (ECN), and the International Competition Network (ICN). An important result is that regulatory networks might not only be a temporary phenomenon but part of long-term institutional solutions in European multi-level regulatory regimes.
    Keywords: Regulatory networks, multi-level regulatory systems, legal federalism, EU regulation
    JEL: K2 F55 H11 H77
    Date: 2016

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