nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2018‒03‒12
four papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. Female Economic Participation with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Advancement: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Uchenna Efobi; Belmondo Tanankem; Simplice Asongu
  2. ICT Adoption in Micro and Small Firms: Can Internet Access Improve Labor Productivity? By Mariana Viollaz
  3. Information Frictions, Internet and the Relationship between Distance and Trade* By Leuven, Edwin; Akerman, Anders; Mogstad, Magne
  4. A Statistical Analysis of Industrial Penetration and Internet Intensity in Taiwan By Chang, C-L.; McAleer, M.J.; Wu, Y-C.

  1. By: Uchenna Efobi (Ogun State, Nigeria); Belmondo Tanankem (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This study complements existing literature by investigating how the advancement in information and communication technology affects the formal economic participation of women. The focus is on 48 African countries for the period 1990-2014. The empirical evidence is based on Ordinary Least Squares, Fixed Effects and the Generalized Method of Moments regressions. The results show that improving communication technology increases female economic participation with the following consistent order of increasing magnitude: mobile phone penetration; internet penetration, and fixed broadband subscriptions. The findings are robust to the control for heterogeneities across countries. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Africa; Gender; ICT; Inclusive development; Technology
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Mariana Viollaz
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of internet adoption on labor productivity in Peruvian micro and small manufacturing firms over the period 2011-2013. Instrumental variables estimates show that internet adoption: (i) increases firms’ labor productivity; (ii) reallocates employment away from temporary administrative workers and non-remunerated workers and expands employment of permanent production workers; (iii) leads to the formalization of labor relationships, to the implementation of new organizational practices, and to the improvement of training measures. These findings point to the implementation of combined policies, where ICT expansion is accompanied by the development of digital skills.
    Keywords: internet adoption, labor productivity, micro and small firms, employment structure, organizational practices
    JEL: J23 J24 O32 O33
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Leuven, Edwin (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Akerman, Anders (Stockholm University, Department of Economics); Mogstad, Magne (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: Recent work suggests the patterns of international trade may be distorted because of information frictions. Little is known, however, about how advancements in information communication technology (ICT) affect trade patterns. The goal of our paper is to analyze how and why the adoption of such technology affects bilateral trade flows. Our context is the adoption of broadband internet in Norwegian firms over the period 2000-2008. We use panel data with information on Norwegian firms with regards to their production, technology, and trade. A public program with limited funding rolled out broadband access points, and provides plausibly exogenous variation in the availability and adoption of broadband internet in firms. We find that adoption of broadband internet makes trade patterns more sensitive to distance and economic size. Going from no broadband availability to full coverage increases the magnitude of the elasticity of trade with respect to distance by 0.12, and the elasticity of trade with respect to destination size by 0.06. For distance, this means that an increase in internet availability of 10 percentage points increases trade for a country at the 25th distance percentile by 1.1% more than for a country at the 75th distance percentile. The same difference for the GDP of a destination is 2.1%. We interpret the empirical results through a gravity theory of trade patterns, augmented with information frictions. We provide comparative statics predictions with respect to a reduction in information frictions, and show that these predictions are consistent with our empirical findings. Taken together, our results point to the importance of incorporating information frictions in the frequently used gravity equation, and they may help explain the so-called “distance puzzle” in international trade.
    Keywords: Internet; Trade; Information Frictions; Gravity model; Distance
    JEL: F12 F15 O33
    Date: 2018–02–15
  4. By: Chang, C-L.; McAleer, M.J.; Wu, Y-C.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of industrial penetration (geographic concentration of industries) and internet intensity (the proportion of enterprises that use the internet) for Taiwan manufacturing firms, and analyses whether the relationships are substitutes or complements. The sample observations are based on 153,081 manufacturing plants, and covers 26 two-digit industry categories and 358 geographical townships in Taiwan. The Heckman selection model is used to accommodate sample selectivity for unobservable data for firms that use the internet. The empirical results from two-stage estimation show that: (1) a higher degree of industrial penetration will not affect the probability that firms will use the internet, but will affect the total expenditure on internet intensity; (2) for two-digit SIC industries, industrial penetration generally decreases the total expenditure on internet intensity; and (3) industrial penetration and internet intensity are substitutes.
    Keywords: Industrial penetration, Internet intensity, Sample selection, Incidental, truncation.
    JEL: D22 L60
    Date: 2018–01–01

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