nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2017‒04‒16
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Not all that Glitters is Gold: ICT and Inclusive Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
  2. Is Distance Dead? Face-to-Face Communication and Productivity in Teams By Battiston, Diego; Blanes I Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Tom
  3. Salience in Retailing: Vertical Restraints on Internet Sales By Helfrich, Magdalena; Herweg, Fabian
  4. The Relevance of Age Categories in explaining Internet Banking Adoption Rates and Customers' Attitudes towards the Service By Silvio John, Camilleri; Gail, Grech
  5. The right response to digital disruption By Jacques Bughin; Nicolas van Zeebroeck
  6. Patent Networks, Collaboration Patterns, and National Innovation Systems. Sweden and Spain during the Second Industrial Revolution By Andersson, David E.; Galaso, Pablo; Saiz, Patricio

  1. By: Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
    Abstract: This paper examines the short and long term effects of information and communication technology (ICT) on inclusive human development in a panel of 49 Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 2000-2012. ICT is measured in terms of mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and telephone penetration rates. While mobile phone penetration has positive short run and long term effects on inclusive human development, the effects of internet and telephone penetrations are insignificant. Moreover, the long term inclusive human development benefits of the mobile phone are higher than the corresponding short term rewards. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: ICT; inclusive human development; Africa
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Battiston, Diego; Blanes I Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Tom
    Abstract: Has technology made face-to-face communication redundant? We investigate using a natural experiment in an organisation where a worker must communicate complex electronic information to a colleague. Productivity is higher when the teammates are (exogenously) in the same room and, inside the room, when their desks are closer together. We establish face-to-face communication as the main mechanism, and rule out alternative channels such as higher effort by co-located workers. The effect is stronger for urgent and complex tasks, for homogeneous workers, and for high pressure conditions. We highlight the opportunity costs of face-to-face communication and their dependence on organisational slack.
    JEL: D23 M11
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Helfrich, Magdalena; Herweg, Fabian
    Abstract: We provide an explanation for a frequently observed vertical restraint in e-commerce, namely that brand manufacturers partially or completely prohibit that retailers distribute their high-quality products over the internet. Our analysis is based on the assumption that a consumer's purchasing decision is distorted by salient thinking, i.e. by the fact that he overvalues a product attribute -- quality or price -- that stands out in a particular choice situation. In a highly competitive low-price environment like on an online platform, consumers focus more on price rather than quality. Especially if the market power of local (physical) retailers is low, price tends to be salient also in the local store, which is unfavorable for the high-quality product and limits the wholesale price a brand manufacturer can charge. If, however, the branded product is not available online, a retailer can charge a significant markup on the high-quality good. As the markup is higher if quality rather than price is salient in the store, this aligns the retailer's incentives with the brand manufacturer's interest to make quality the salient attribute and allows the manufacturer to charge a higher wholesale price. We also show that, the weaker are consumers' preferences for purchasing in the physical store and the stronger their salience bias, the more likely it is that a brand manufacturer wants to restrict online sales. Moreover, we find that a ban on distribution systems that prohibit internet sales increases consumer welfare and total welfare, because it leads to lower prices for final consumers and prevents inefficient online sales.
    Keywords: Internet competition; Relative thinking; Retailing; salience; Selective distribution; Vertical restraints
    JEL: D43 K21 L42
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Silvio John, Camilleri; Gail, Grech
    Abstract: This paper focuses on customers’ attitudes towards internet banking (IB), with particular reference to generational differences vis-à-vis such service. These factors are important for banks to project how demand is likely to develop over time. After modelling the IB adoption decision across a sample of countries, we conduct a questionnaire amongst bank customers who include users and non-users of IB and set up focus groups, each comprising participants from a specific age bracket. Whilst generational factors do not emerge as significant in the regression models, the questionnaires and focus groups suggest that generations differ in their attitudes towards IT-delivery systems and choice of preferred delivery channels. In this way banks have to constantly ensure that their online product mix is appropriate to cater for such distinct needs, especially in view of the increasing competition from non-bank entities in areas such as payments services.
    Keywords: Bank Delivery Channels, Generations, Internet Banking, Malta, Retail Banking.
    JEL: J10 M15 M31 O33
    Date: 2017–01–19
  5. By: Jacques Bughin; Nicolas van Zeebroeck
    Abstract: Companies that adopt bold offensive strategies in the face of industry digitization will come out the winners.
    Keywords: disruptive innovation; digital strategy; digital transformation
    JEL: L10 O14 O32
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Andersson, David E. (Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University); Galaso, Pablo (Instituto de Economía, Universidad de la República); Saiz, Patricio (Departamento de Análisis Económico: Teoría Económica e Historia Económica. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: Sweden and Spain have developed very distinct systems of innovation over the long term. The former has a highly innovative economy while the latter drags serious problems in science and technology. However, during the first half of the nineteenth century both countries were latecomers to the industrial revolution in the European periphery with similar economic, technological, and institutional challenges ahead. In this paper, we hypothesize that one possible reason for this long-term divergence lies in the different collaboration patterns that emerge from interactions among innovative agents. To analyse such cooperation patterns we apply social network analysis methods and study co-patent networks in Sweden and Spain during the second industrial revolution (1878-1914). The results demonstrate that collaboration among innovators and openness to foreign influence was greater in Sweden than in Spain. This research opens new paths for further studies both on economic history and innovation networks dynamics.
    Keywords: collaboration, innovation networks, patents, social network analysis, Sweden, Spain, second industrial revolution
    JEL: N01 N73 O30 O33 Z13
    Date: 2017–02

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