nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2018‒03‒05
nine papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. The Role of Openness in the Effect of ICT on Governance By Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
  2. Controlling working crowds: The impact of digitalization on worker autonomy and monitoring across hierarchical levels By Michael Beckmann; Lutz Bellmann; Elisa Gerten
  3. The Application of Artificial Intelligence at Chinese Digital Platform Giants: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent By Jia, Kai; Kenney, Martin; Mattila, Juri; Seppälä, Timo
  4. Back to the future: Changing job profiles in the digital age By Lorenz, Hanno; Stephany, Fabian
  5. Honesty in the digital age By Alain Cohn; Tobias Gesche; Michel Maréchal
  6. The Effect of Inequality Aversion on a Climate Coalition Formation: Theory and Experimental Evidence By Lin, Yu-Hsuan
  7. Internet Use and the U-shaped relationship between Age and Well-being By Fulvio Castellacci; Henrik Schwabe
  8. Pros and Cons of the Impact Factor in a Rapidly Changing Digital World By Michael McAleer; Judit Olah; Jozsef Popp
  9. The 2017 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard By Hector Hernandez; Nicola Grassano; Alexander Tuebke; Lesley Potters; Sara Amoroso; Mafini Dosso; Petros Gkotsis; Antonio Vezzani

  1. By: Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
    Abstract: The study investigates how openness influences information and communication technology (ICT) penetration for improved government quality in sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2000-2012. Openness is measured in terms of trade and financial globalisation whereas ICT is proxied with mobile phone and internet penetration rates. Ten bundled and unbundled governance indicators are used. The empirical evidence is based on Generalised Method of Moments with forward orthogonal deviations. The main findings are: First, financial openness has an edge over trade openness when combined with ICT to affect both economic and institutional governance. Second, mobile phones have an edge over internet penetration in complementing (i) trade openness for economic governance and (ii) financial openness for institutional governance. Third, net effects on political governance are consistently negative. Taken together, in the short-run, openness-driven ICT policies are more rewarding in terms of economic and institutional governance than political governance. Fourth, catch-up in governance is facilitated by the interaction between openness and ICT. Contributions of these findings to literature are discussed.
    Keywords: Openness; ICT; Governance; Africa
    JEL: F40 O38 O40 O55 P37
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Michael Beckmann; Lutz Bellmann; Elisa Gerten (University of Basel)
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on worker autonomy and monitoring using the second wave of the German Linked Personnel Panel, a linked employer-employee data set. From a theoretical point of view, the impact of ICT on workplace organization is ambiguous. On the one hand, the fast diffusion of ICT among employees makes it possible to monitor professional activities, leading to greater centralization. On the other hand, ICT enable employees to work more autonomously, so that workplace organization becomes more decentralized. We find indeed evidence for the argument that both centralization and decentralization tendencies might appear simultaneously. If modern digital technologies are used for work, worker monitoring is increasing for all employees, but only managerial employees gain in autonomy. The use of instrumental variables estimation tightens our results in a manner that ICT increases both worker autonomy and monitoring, but only for managerial employees, where the ICT effect on autonomy exceeds the corresponding ICT effect on monitoring. All in all, our results support the view that digitalization unlike prior technological revolutions primarily affects the employment prospects and working conditions for employees at higher hierarchical levels.
    JEL: L22 M54 O33
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Jia, Kai; Kenney, Martin; Mattila, Juri; Seppälä, Timo
    Abstract: Abstract The Chinese digital platform giants – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent – have quickly risen to be amongst the most notable developers and users of artificial intelligence. One important catalyst for this development has been the so-called Platform Business Group (PBG) strategy used by Chinese digital platform firms. In this strategy a platform firm aims to develop powerful synergies by tightly linking together a number of different platforms it owns so as to offer multiple services to users under its umbrella. By applying the PBG strategy, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent are able to exploit enormous multi-faceted datasets on individuals for use in the development of artificial intelligence algorithms. As a result, the Chinese platform giants appear to be taking a somewhat different approach with the development and use of artificial intelligence than their Western counterparts. If the Chinese platform giants succeed in their efforts to expand into the global market, their business strategies will introduce a different threat to the conventional European industries from those challenges already presented by Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Platforms, Platform Business Group strategy, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent
    JEL: L8 L86 O3 O33
    Date: 2018–02–26
  4. By: Lorenz, Hanno; Stephany, Fabian
    Abstract: In light of increasingly "smarter" technologies, the future of (human) labour is questioned on a daily basis. A study by Frey and Osborne (2013), one of the most recognised contributions in this domain, estimated that half of the US labour force is highly susceptible to computerisation in the near future. Their findings have been applied for several follow-up investigations in other countries. However, the transferability of the results is limited by the set-up of the study. In contrast to previous investigations, our approach tries to overcome past shortcomings by collecting assessments on the susceptibility to digital technologies for the Austrian labour market by Austrian experts. We show that the diversity of previous findings regarding the degree of job automatisation is to a large extent driven by model selection and not by controlling for personal characteristics or tasks. Our results indicate that while clerical computer-based routine jobs are likely to change in the next decade, professional activities, e.g., the processing of complex information, are prone to digital change.
    Keywords: Bayesian,Classification,Employment,GLM,Technological Change
    JEL: E24 J24 J31 J62 O33
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Alain Cohn; Tobias Gesche; Michel Maréchal
    Abstract: Modern communication technologies enable efficient exchange of information, but often sacrifice direct human interaction inherent in more traditional forms of communication. This raises the question of whether the lack of personal interaction induces individuals to exploit informational asymmetries. We conducted two experiments with 866 subjects to examine how human versus machine interaction influences cheating for financial gain. We find that individuals cheat significantly more when they interact with a machine rather than a person, regardless of whether the machine is equipped with human features. When interacting with a human, individuals are particularly reluctant to report unlikely favorable outcomes, which is consistent with social image concerns. The second experiment shows that dishonest individuals prefer to interact with a machine when facing an opportunity to cheat. Our results suggest that human interaction is key to mitigating dishonest behavior and that self-selection into communication channels can be used to screen for dishonest people.
    Keywords: Cheating, honesty, private information, communication, digitization, lying costs
    JEL: C99 D82 D83
    Date: 2018–02
  6. By: Lin, Yu-Hsuan
    Abstract: This chapter examines the impact of inequality-averse attitudes on the individual incentives of participating in international environmental agreements by a laboratory experiment. The experimental result shows that the inequality-averse attitudes have significantly positive impact on the incentives of participation. Particularly, when they are non-critical players, egalitarians are likely to give up the free riding benefit by joining a coalition. It helps us to understand the coalition formation in the international conventions.
    Keywords: Social preference, experimental design, international environmental agreement, inequality aversion, heterogeneous countries
    JEL: C91 D71 Q01 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Fulvio Castellacci (TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo); Henrik Schwabe (TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Extant research shows that the relationship between age and well-being is U-shaped. This paper investigates the effects of Internet use on subjective well-being over the life cycle. We argue that Internet use moderates the U-shaped relationship, affecting its turning point and slopes. We use the Eurobarometer annual surveys for the years 2010 to 2013, which provide rich information for close to 100,000 individuals in all European countries. The econometric analysis exploits exogenous variation in broadband Internet take-up across European countries, and presents 2SLS estimations for a recursive bivariate ordered probit model. The results provide support for our main hypothesis. Active Internet users have a different well-being pattern over the life cycle compared to other individuals. Specifically, we find that Internet users experience: (1) a more stable level and less pronounced decrease in life satisfaction in their younger adult life; and (2) an earlier and stronger recovery after the turning point of the U-shape.
    Date: 2018–02
  8. By: Michael McAleer (Asia University, Taiwan; University of Sydney Business School, Australia; Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands); Judit Olah (University of Debrecen, Hungary); Jozsef Popp (University of Debrecen, Hungary)
    Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to present arguments for and against the use of the Impact Factor (IF) in a rapidly changing digital world. The paper discusses the calculation of IF, as well as the pros and cons of IF. Editorial policies that affect IF are examined, and the merits of open access online publishing are presented. Scientific quality and the IF dilemma are analysed, and alternative measures of impact and quality are evaluated. The San Francisco declaration on research assessment is also discussed.
    Keywords: Impact Factor; Quality of research; Pros and Cons; Implications; Digital world; Editorial policies; Open access online publishing; SCIE; SSCI
    JEL: O34 O31 D02
    Date: 2018–02–16
  9. By: Hector Hernandez (European Commission - JRC); Nicola Grassano (European Commission - JRC); Alexander Tuebke (European Commission - JRC); Lesley Potters (European Commission - JRC); Sara Amoroso (European Commission - JRC); Mafini Dosso (European Commission - JRC); Petros Gkotsis (European Commission - JRC); Antonio Vezzani (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The 2017 edition of the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard (the Scoreboard) comprises the 2500 companies investing the largest sums in R&D in the world in 2016/17. These companies, based in 43 countries, each invested over €24 million in R&D for a total of €741.6bn which is approximately 90% of the world’s business-funded R&D. They include 567 EU companies accounting for 26% of the total, 822 US companies for 39%, 365 Japanese companies for 14%, 376 Chinese for 8% and 370 from the rest-of-the-world (RoW) for 13%. This report analyses the main changes in companies’ R&D and economic indicators over the past year and their performance over the past ten years. It also includes results from additional complementary studies on companies’ productivity, their development of ICT-related technologies and scientific publication activity.
    Keywords: Industrial R&D, top R&D investors, innovation, company performance, economic and innovation performance
    Date: 2017–12

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