nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2017‒12‒03
six papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Is distance dead? Face-to-face communication and productivity in teams By Battiston, Diego; Blanes i Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Thomas
  2. The domestic turn: business processing outsourcing and the growing automation of Kenyan organisations By Mann, Laura; Graham, Mark
  3. Towards 5G: scenario-based assessment of the future supply and demand for mobile telecommunications infrastructure By Edward Oughton
  4. Economic History Goes Digital: Topic Modeling the Journal of Economic History By Lino Wehrheim
  5. The 4th Industrial Revolution and R&D Policy By Sung-Uk Park
  6. Marketing Agencies and Collusive Bidding in Online Ad Auctions By Francesco Decarolis; Maris Goldmanis; Antonio Penta

  1. By: Battiston, Diego; Blanes i Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Thomas
    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.
    Keywords: teamwork; face-to-face communication; distance; organisations
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Mann, Laura; Graham, Mark
    Abstract: After observing the growth of the Indian and Filipino Business Processing Outsourcing sectors, Kenyan policy-makers and managers made substantial investments in international internet infrastructure and BPO marketing campaigns. While observers continue to discuss the sector in terms of its international work opportunities, in recent years the sector has increasingly focused on contracts sourced from Kenyan and other East African clients. The government has also refocused efforts on attracting international BPO companies. This domestic turn signals both the difficulties of gaining access to overseas work due to the power of incumbents and the increasing use of the internet and ICT-enabled automation within Kenyan organizations. In effect, better connectivity has enabled a two-way globalisation of services: Kenyan BPO companies have been able to access some international work opportunities but the connectivity has also contributed to the inflow of international service companies and business practices into Kenya. The conclusion examines what these shifts might entail for the sector and its workers in future.
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2016–03–22
  3. By: Edward Oughton (Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: Moving from 4G LTE to 5G is an archetypal example of technological change. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who fail to adapt will likely lose market share. Hitherto, qualitative frameworks have been put forward to aid with business model adaptation for MNOs facing on the one hand increasing traffic growth, while on the other declining revenues. In this analysis, we provide a complementary scenario-based assessment of 5G infrastructure strategies in relation to mobile traffic growth. This information is required by commercial players in the digital ecosystem for strategy development, and can support management decision-making. Developing and applying an open-source modelling framework, we quantify the uncertainty associated with future demand and supply for a hypothetical MNO, using Britain as a case study example. We find that spectrum strategies require the least amount of capital expenditure and are capable of meeting baseline demand until approximately 2025, after which more spectrum capacity will be required. Alternatively, small cell deployments provide significant capacity but at considerable cost, and hence are likely only in the densest locations, unless MNOs can boost revenues by capturing value from the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities or other technological developments dependent on digital connectivity.
    Date: 2017–11
  4. By: Lino Wehrheim
    Abstract: Digitization and computer science have established a whole new set of methods to analyze large collections of texts. One of these methods is particularly promising for economic historians: topic models, statistical algorithms that automatically infer themes from large collections of texts. In this article, I present an introduction to topic modeling and give a very first review on the research using topic models. I illustrate their capacity by applying them on 2.675 articles published in the Journal of Economic History between 1941 and 2016. This contributes to traditional research on the JEH and to current research on the cliometric revolution.
    Keywords: Economic History, Topic Models, Latent Dirichlet Allocation, Cliometrics, Digitization, Methodology
    JEL: A12 C18 N01
    Date: 2017–11
  5. By: Sung-Uk Park (KISTI)
    Abstract: In this 4th Industrial Revolution, we are facing a range of new technologies that combine the physical, digital and biological worlds. These new technologies will impact all disciplines, economics and industries, and even challenge our ideas about what it means to be human. These technologies have great potential to continue to connect billions more people to the web, drastically improve the efficiency of business and organizations and help regenerate the natural environment through better asset management, potentially even undoing all the damage previous industrial revolution have caused. (Bernard Marr, 2016). And, More than 70% of South Koreans fear that the advent of the 4th industrial revolution will threaten their jobs. In this paper I studied about 4th Industrial Revolution. Especially I surveyed about between Industrial Revolution and R&D policy of Science & Technology.
    Keywords: 4th Industrial Revolution; R&D; S&T; Budget; Policy
    JEL: L88 L60
    Date: 2017–10
  6. By: Francesco Decarolis; Maris Goldmanis; Antonio Penta
    Abstract: The transition of the advertising market from traditional media to the internet has induced a proliferation of marketing agencies specialized in bidding in the auctions that are used to sell ad space on the web. We analyze how collusive bidding can emerge from bid delegation to a common marketing agency and how this can undermine the revenues and allocative efficiency of both the Generalized Second Price auction (GSP, used by Google and Microsoft-Bing and Yahoo!) and the of VCG mechanism (used by Facebook). We find that, despite its well-known susceptibility to collusion, the VCG mechanism outperforms the GSP auction both in terms of revenues and efficiency.
    JEL: C72 D44 L81 M37
    Date: 2017–10

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