nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2017‒05‒21
eight papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. ICT, Financial Sector Development and Financial Access By Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
  2. Terrorism and the Media: The Effect of US Television Coverage on Al-Qaeda Attacks By Jetter, Michael
  3. Economies of Density in E-Commerce: A Study of Amazon’s Fulfillment Center Network By Jean-François Houde; Peter Newberry; Katja Seim
  4. Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows By John Horton; William R. Kerr; Christopher Stanton
  5. A Road Map To Cashless Economy In India By Varma, Vijaya Krushna Varma
  6. Information, Switching Costs, and Consumer Choice: Evidence from Two Randomized Field Experiments in Swedish Primary Health Care By Anell, Anders; Dietrichson, Jens; Ellegård, Lina Maria; Kjellsson, Gustav
  7. Student satisfaction and online teaching By Ross Guest; Nicholas Rohde; Saroja Selvanathan; Tommy Soesmanto
  8. The Synergy of Financial Sector Development and Information Sharing in Financial Access: Propositions and Empirical Evidence By Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta

  1. By: Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
    Abstract: This study assesses the role of ICT (internet and mobile phone penetration) in complementing financial sector development (financial formalization and informalization) for financial access. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments with 53 African countries for the period 2004-2011. The following findings are established from linkages between ICT, financial sector development and financial activity. First, the interaction between ICT and financial formalization (informalization) decreases (increases) financial activity. Second, with regards to net effects, the expected signs are established for the most part. In spite of the negative marginal effects from financial informalization, the overall net effects are positive. Third, the potentially appealing interaction between ICT and informalization produces positive thresholds that are within ranges. Policy implications are discussed in three main strands. They include implications for (i) mobile/internet banking; (ii) a quiet life and (iii) ICT in reducing information asymmetry and surplus liquidity.
    Keywords: Allocation efficiency; Financial sector development; ICT
    JEL: G20 G29 L96 O40 O55
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Jetter, Michael (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Can media coverage of a terrorist organization encourage their execution of further attacks? This paper analyzes the day-to-day news coverage of Al-Qaeda on US television since 9/11 and the group's terrorist strikes. To isolate causality, I use disaster deaths worldwide as an exogenous variation that crowds out Al-Qaeda coverage in an instrumental variable framework. The results suggest a positive and statistically powerful effect of CNN, NBC, CBS, and Fox News coverage on subsequent Al-Qaeda attacks. This result is robust to a battery of alternative estimations, extensions, and placebo regressions. One minute of Al-Qaeda coverage in a 30-minute news segment causes approximately one attack in the upcoming week, equivalent to 4.9 casualties, on average.
    Keywords: Al-Qaeda, media attention, media effects, terrorism, 9/11
    JEL: C26 D74 F52 L82
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Jean-François Houde; Peter Newberry; Katja Seim
    Abstract: We examine the economies of density associated with the expansion of Amazon’s distribution network from 2006 to 2018. We demonstrate that, in placing a fulfillment center in a new state, Amazon faces a trade-off between the revenue implications of exposing local customers to sales tax on their purchases and the cost savings from reducing the shipping distance to those customers. Using detailed data on online transactions, we estimate a model of demand for retail goods and show that consumers’ online shopping is sensitive to sales taxes. We then use the demand estimates and the spatial distribution of consumers relative to Amazon’s fulfillment centers to predict revenues and shipping distances under the observed fulfillment center roll-out and under counterfactual roll-outs over this time period. Using a moment inequalities approach, we infer the cost savings from being closer to customers that render the observed network roll-out optimal. We find that Amazon saves between $0.17 and $0.47 for every 100 mile reduction in the distance of shipping goods worth $30. In the context of its distribution network expansion, this estimate implies that Amazon has reduced its total shipping cost by over 50% and increased its profit margin by between 5 and 14% since 2006. Separately, we demonstrate that prices on Amazon have fallen by approximately 40% over the same period, suggesting that a significant share of the cost savings have been passed on to consumers.
    JEL: H71 L23 L81
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: John Horton; William R. Kerr; Christopher Stanton
    Abstract: Digital labor markets are rapidly expanding and connecting companies and contractors on a global basis. We review the environment in which these markets take root, the micro- and macro-level studies of their operations, their ongoing evolution and recent trends, and perspectives for undertaking research with micro-data from these labor platforms. We undertake new empirical analyses of Upwork data regarding 1) the alignment of micro- and macro-level approaches to disproportionate ethnic-connected exchanges on digital platforms, 2) gravity model analyses of global outsourcing contract flows and their determinants for digital labor markets, and 3) quantification of own- and cross-country elasticities for contract work by wage rate. Digital labor markets are an exciting frontier for global talent flows and growing rapidly in importance.
    JEL: F15 F22 F23 J15 J31 J44 L14 L24 L26 L84 M55 O31 O32
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Varma, Vijaya Krushna Varma
    Abstract: The cashless economy should be achieved in the phased manner and step by step process instead of forcing it on people overnight without expanding/providing banking infrastructure to every nook and corner of the country, internet connectivity with high speed at cheap rate and unbroken power supply. The government should continue the demonetisation program of high valued notes one by one along with making the cashless transactions step by step and from top to bottom i.e; from the super-rich to rich; from the rich to middle class; from high valued goods to low valued goods; from luxury items to essential commodities
    Keywords: cashless economy
    JEL: E5 O2
    Date: 2016–11–09
  6. By: Anell, Anders (Department of Business Administration, Lund University); Dietrichson, Jens (The Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI)); Ellegård, Lina Maria (Department of Economics, Lund University); Kjellsson, Gustav (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Consumers of services that are financed by a third party, such as publicly financed health care or firm-sponsored health plans, are often allowed to freely choose provider. The rationale is that consumer choice may improve the matching of consumers and providers and spur quality competition. Such improvements are contingent on consumers having access to comparative information about providers and acting on this information when making their choice. However, in the presence of information frictions and switching costs, consumers may have limited ability to find suitable providers. We use two large-scale randomized field experiments in primary health care to examine if the choice of provider is affected when consumers receive comparative information by postal mail and small costs associated with switching are reduced. The first experiment targeted a subset of the general population in the Swedish region Skåne, and the second targeted new residents in the region, who should have less prior information and lower switching costs. In both cases, the propensity to switch provider increased significantly after the intervention. The effects were larger for new residents than for the general population, and were driven by individuals living reasonably close to alternative providers.
    Keywords: Consumer choice; Information; Switching costs; Primary health care; Field experiments
    JEL: D83 I11 I18
    Date: 2017–05–17
  7. By: Ross Guest; Nicholas Rohde; Saroja Selvanathan; Tommy Soesmanto
    Keywords: Student Evaluations, Online Teaching, Difference in Differences Estimation
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2017–07
  8. By: Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
    Abstract: This study assesses the role of information sharing in financialization (or coexistence of financial sub-systems) for financial access. The empirical evidence is based on contemporary and non-contemporary Fixed Effects and Quantile regressions on 53 African countries for the period 2004-2011. The positive complementarity of information sharing offices (ISOs) and financial formalization is an increasing function of financial activity (or access to credit) whereas the negative complementarity of ISOs and financial informalization is a decreasing function of financial activity. In order to leverage on the synergy between ISO and financial formalization for enhanced financial access, some policy measures are proposed.
    Keywords: Information Asymmetry; Financialization; Financial Access
    JEL: G20 G29 L96 O40 O55
    Date: 2017–01

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