nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2017‒12‒18
eight papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Barriers to European cross-border E-commerce By Alex Coad; Nestor Duch-Brown
  2. Openness, ICT and Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
  3. High-Speed Broadband and Academic Achievement in Teenagers: Evidence from Sweden By Grenestam, Erik; Nordin, Martin
  4. Wirkung von Live-Chats in Online-Shops auf die Kaufentscheidung By Telkmann, Verena; Kalka, Regine
  5. Platforms to business relations in online platform ecosystems By Nestor Duch-Brown
  6. Quality discrimination in online multi-sided markets By Nestor Duch-Brown
  7. The potential and impact of ICT-enabled Social Innovation to promote social investment in the EU By Gianluca Misuraca; Giulio Pasi; Maria Cesira Urzi Brancati
  8. Aggregation in Networks By Nizar Allouch

  1. By: Alex Coad (European Commission – JRC); Nestor Duch-Brown (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: We analyse survey data to investigate the main barriers to European cross-border e-commerce. We investigate the determinants of selling online, as well as the frequency and determinants of cross-border e-commerce, and the role of barriers. Large firms, which are part of a group, are more likely to sell online. Firms generally make most of their online sales to their home country, although EU firms are more likely to engage in cross-border online trade with EU countries than non-EU countries. Firms report that they are facing a variety of barriers to e-commerce. Regulatory barriers are negatively associated with online sales. There is weak evidence that firms which use their own websites are more vulnerable to financial, market and information barriers. Firms that use a large platform experience fewer financial and market barriers. On the positive side, we find that small and young firms do not seem to be more vulnerable to barriers than large or more experienced firms.
    Keywords: digital single market, e-commerce, cross-border trade
    JEL: D23 K11 K12 L86
    Date: 2017–11
  2. By: Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
    Abstract: This study has examined how information and communication technology (ICT) influences openness to improve the conditions of doing business in sub-Saharan Africa. The data is for the period 2000-2012. ICT is proxied with Internet and mobile phone penetration rates whereas openness is measured in terms of financial and trade globalisation. Ten indicators of doing business are used, namely: (i) cost of business start-up procedures; (ii) procedure to enforce a contract; (iii) start-up procedures to register a business; (iv) time required to build a warehouse; (v) time required to enforce a contract; (vi) time required to register a property; (vii) time required to start a business; (viii) time to export; (ix) time to prepare and pay taxes and (x) time to resolve an insolvency. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments with forward orthogonal deviations. While we find substantial evidence that ICT complements openness to improve conditions for entrepreneurship, the effects are contingent on the dynamics of openness, ICT and entrepreneurship. Theoretical and practical policy implications are discussed. The inquiry is based on two contemporary development concerns: the need for policy to leverage on the ICT penetration potential in the sub-region and the relevance of entrepreneurship in addressing associated issues of population growth such as unemployment.
    Keywords: Openness; ICT; Entrepreneurship; Africa
    JEL: F40 O38 O40 O55 P37
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Grenestam, Erik (Department of Economics, Lund University); Nordin, Martin (AgriFood Economics Centre, Lund University)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of super-fast internet connections on the academic achievement of students in upper secondary school. We link detailed register data on around 250,000 students to local levels of access to optic fiber broadband, in order to estimate a causal effect of broadband on student GPA. We show that reaching full coverage in the student’s parish of residence causes a GPA reduction ranging from 3 to 6 percent of a standard deviation. Estimates are consistently more negative for boys and students with low ability and/or low-educated parents. Using PISA survey data, we provide evidence that students living in areas with the greatest high-speed broadband expansion also spend more time online during weekdays, suggesting student time use as a potential mechanism.
    Keywords: Education; Broadband; Internet; High-school; GPA
    JEL: H52 I24 I28 J24 O33
    Date: 2017–12–13
  4. By: Telkmann, Verena (Department of Economics of the Duesseldorf University of Applied Sciences); Kalka, Regine (Department of Economics of the Duesseldorf University of Applied Sciences)
    Abstract: Der Umsatz durch E-Commerce und auch die Anzahl der Online-Shopper in Deutschland steigt stetig. Die Online-Shops stehen jedoch vor dem Problem geringer Konversionsraten. Ein Ansatz zur Steigerung der Konversionsraten ist der Einsatz persönlicher Kommunikation in Form von Live-Chats. Es stellt sich nun die Frage, wie der Einsatz von Live-Chats in Online-Shops auf die Kaufentscheidung der Kunden wirkt. In einer Online-Erhebung wurden 385 Personen zu ihren Erfahrungen mit und ihren Erwartungen an Live-Chats befragt. 76 Personen haben bereits eine Beratung via Live-Chat in Anspruch genommen und 105 Personen haben ein Angebot für eine Beratung via Live-Chat erhalten, dies jedoch nicht genutzt. Insgesamt 204 Personen haben noch keine Erfahrungen mit Live-Chats gemacht, 98 dieser Personen könnten sich jedoch eine zukünftige Nutzung vorstellen. Für die empirische Untersuchung wurde ein Modell zur Wirkung von Live-Chats in Online-Shops auf die Kaufentscheidung entwickelt, um daraus Hypothesen abzuleiten, auf deren Grundlage die Untersuchung durchgeführt wurde. Die Hypothesen wurden anhand der Befragungsergebnisse der 76 Personen geprüft, die bereits Erfahrungen mit Live-Chats gemacht haben. Die Prüfung der Hypothesen hat gezeigt, dass qualitativ hochwertige Live-Chats mit einer hohen System-und Informationsqualität, in der Lage sind das wahrgenommene Risiko der Kaufentscheidung zu senken, Vertrauen zu dem Online-Shop aufzubauen und positive Kaufentscheidungen zu begünstigen. Live-Chats stellen daher eine Service-Form dar, die von den bisherigen Nutzern positiv bewertet wird und bieten weiteres Potenzial, da auch viele der bisherigen Nicht-Nutzer eine positive Einstellung zu Live-Chats zeigen und sich eine Beratung in Zukunft vorstellen können. Da ein Teil der Probanden jedoch kein Interesse an einer Beratung via Live-Chat gezeigt hat, sollten Live-Chats die etablierten Serviceformen zumindest in naher Zukunft lediglich ergänzen und nicht ersetzen.
    Abstract: The volume of sales achieved by e-commerce and the number of online-shoppers is constantly rising, but online-shops are facing the problem of low conversion rates. One approach to raise the conversion rates in online-shops is establishing personal communication through live-chats. The question is now, how the use of live-chats in online-shops is affecting the purchase decision of the customers. An online-survey was used to question 385 test persons about their experiences with live-chats in the past and their expectations concerning the use of live-chats. 76 persons have already used an advice via live-chat and 105 have gotten an offer to use an advice via live-chat but not actually used the live-chat. Overall 204 of the asked persons have never used a live-chat before, but 98 out of these 204 test persons can imagine using an advice via live-chat in the future. In the framework of the empirical study a model of how live-chats in online-shops affect the purchase decision was developed. Out of this model were hypotheses deduced, which formed the base for the empirical study. The hypotheses were tested by analyzing the data of the 76 people who already used live-chats. The analysis has evidenced that top-quality live-chats with high system quality and high information quality are able to remove uncertainty, build faith in the online-shop and promote positive purchase decisions. Live-chats are already successfully implemented in several online-shops and are accepted and positively rated by their users. In addition, live-chats have a high potential, which is actually unused, since a large part of the persons, who did not use live-chats before, has a positive attitude toward live-chats and can image to use them in the future. Because a part of the test persons has no interest in using live-chats, live-chats should be an addition to the classical service forms like hotlines and mail-support and not replace them in the near future.
    Keywords: Live-Chat, Online-Shop, Konversionsraten, Beratung, Kundenservice, conversion rates, advice, customer service
    JEL: M3 L86
    Date: 2017–09
  5. By: Nestor Duch-Brown (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: This report presents evidence on the relationship between online platforms and businesses using these platforms to reach consumers or conduct their operations. First, we review the literature on vertical relationships both from a classic approach and from a multi-sided market perspective. Second, we use survey data to explain the factors behind firms’ choice of online channel. Third, we explore the results of a survey passed to firms using platforms to understand their concerns about the behaviour of some of these online gatekeepers. Finally, we offer some conclusions.
    Keywords: digital single market, data economy, online platforms, multi-sided markets
    JEL: D23 K11 K12 L86
    Date: 2017–12
  6. By: Nestor Duch-Brown (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explain evidence of unfair practices by online platforms towards business users, particularly SME's. First, using survey data, we show that sellers operating with four different categories of platforms multi-home (marketplaces, app stores, social networks and online advertising). Hence, the appropriate competitive framework is the "competitive bottleneck" model. Second, we develop an empirical model of platform competition adding an additional dimension: service quality. The results indicate that the costs of providing quality to sellers are higher than the costs of providing quality to buyers. These differences may reflect different needs or preferences across groups. While buyers would require simple functionalities sellers would need more sophisticated services. When sellers' multi-home, platforms care more about buyers than sellers and while buyers will get an efficient level of quality, quality to sellers will be "degraded". We argue that this service quality degradation explain unfair trading practices simply because platforms are not willing to invest to take care of sellers.
    Keywords: digital single market, data economy, online platforms, multi-sided markets
    JEL: D23 K11 K12 L86
    Date: 2017–12
  7. By: Gianluca Misuraca (European Commission - JRC); Giulio Pasi (European Commission - JRC); Maria Cesira Urzi Brancati (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This report presents the results of the JRC-led research on ‘ICT-enabled Social Innovation to support the implementation of the Social Investment Package’ (IESI) conducted in partnership with the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. The IESI research is set out to help policymakers and practitioners use ICT-enabled social innovation to modernise welfare systems, provide better and more efficient social services, and ultimately increase the wellbeing and quality of life of citizens. The original research design, its theoretical framework and empirical findings contribute to the growing scientific interest on ICT-enabled social innovation in the field of social policy reforms, within the scope of the implementation of the social investment approach. Based on the analysis of evidence gathered through a documented collection of initiatives across the EU, the research also advances a proposal for developing a methodological framework to assess the social and economic impact of ICT enabled social innovation. The approach proposed is expected to support policymakers and relevant stakeholders in designing, monitoring and evaluating ICT-enabled social innovation initiatives, which could be transferred, scaled-up and replicated across Europe. Insights from the research contribute to the policy debate on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the future of the Welfare State in the EU.
    Keywords: ICT-enabled social innovation, social investment, social policy innovation
    JEL: O38 O52
    Date: 2017–11
  8. By: Nizar Allouch
    Abstract: In this paper, we show that a concept of aggregation can hold in network games. Breaking up large networks into smaller pieces, which can be replaced by representative players, leads to a coarse-grained description of strategic interactions. This method of summarizing complex strategic interactions by simple ones can be applied to compute Nash equilibria. We also provide an application to public goods in networks to show the usefulness of our results. In particular, we highlight network architectures that cannot prevent free-riding in public good network games. Finally, we show that aggregation enhances the stability of a Nash equilibrium.
    Keywords: aggregation; modular decomposition; network games; public goods; stability
    JEL: C72 D31 D85 H41
    Date: 2017–12

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