nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
five papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
Universität Wien

  1. What Are We Talking about When We Talk about Digital Protectionism? By Susan Aaronson
  2. Transition from Copper to Fiber Broadband: The Role of Connection Speed and Switching Costs By Lukasz Grzybowski; Maude Hasbi; Julienne Liang
  3. Data Governance in Connected Cars: The Problem of Access to In-vehicle Data By Wolfgang Kerber
  4. Adoption of improved crop varieties by involving farmers in the e-wallet program in Nigeria By Joseph I. Uduji; Elda N. Okolo-Obasi
  5. Infringing Use as a Path to Legal Consumption: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Hong Luo; Julie Holland Mortimer

  1. By: Susan Aaronson (George Washington University)
    Abstract: For almost a decade, executives, scholars, and trade diplomats have argued that filtering, censorship, localization requirements, and domestic regulations are distorting the cross-border information flows that underpin the internet. Herein I use process tracing to examine the state and implications of digital protectionism. I make five points: First, I note that digital protectionism differs from protectionism of goods and other services. Information is intangible, highly tradable, and some information is a public good. Secondly, I argue that it will not be easy to set international rules to limit digital protectionism without shared norms and definitions. Thirdly, the US, EU, and Canada have labeled other countries policies’ protectionist, yet their arguments and actions sometimes appear hypocritical. Fourth, I discuss the challenge of Chinese failure to follow key internet governance norms. China allegedly has used a wide range of cyber strategies, including distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks (bombarding a web site with service requests) to censor information flows and impede online market access beyond its borders. WTO members have yet to discuss this issue and the threat it poses to trade norms and rules. Finally, I note that digital protectionism may be self-defeating. I then draw conclusions and make policy recommendations.
    Keywords: data, internet, e-commerce, digital trade, data flows, WTO, protectionism
    JEL: F1 F5
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Lukasz Grzybowski; Maude Hasbi; Julienne Liang
    Abstract: We estimated a mixed logit model using data on the broadband technologies chosen by 94,388 subscribers of a single European broadband operator on a monthly basis between January and December 2014. We found that consumers have similar valuation of DSL connection speeds in the range between 1 and 8 Mbps. Moreover, in January 2014, the valuation of FttH connections with a speed of 100 Mbps was not much higher than of DSL connections with a speed of 1 to 8 Mbps, but it has increased quickly over time. The small initial difference in the valuation of DSL and FttH connections may be because consumers' basic Internet requirements such as browsing, emailing, reading news, shopping, and even watching videos online could be satisfied with a connection speed below 8 Mbps. We also found that consumers face significant switching costs when changing broadband tariff plans, which are substantially higher when switching from DSL to FttH technology. According to counterfactual simulations based on our model, switching costs between technologies are the main factor which slows down consumer transition from DSL to FttH.
    Keywords: FttH, DSL, connection speed, switching costs
    JEL: L43 L50 L96
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Wolfgang Kerber
    Abstract: Through the application of the technological solution of the “extended vehicle” concept the car manufacturers can capture exclusive control of the data of connected cars leading to serious concerns about negative effects on competition, innovation and consumer choice on the markets for aftermarket and other complementary services in the ecosystem of connected and automated driving. Therefore a controversial policy discussion has emerged in the EU about access to in-vehicle data and the connected car for independent service providers in the automotive industry. This paper claims that this problem should be seen as part of the general question of the optimal governance of data in the ecosystem of connected and automated mobility. The paper offers an overview about this policy discussion and analyzes this problem from an economic perspective by using a market failure analysis. Besides competition problems (esp. on markets for aftermarket and other services in the connected car) also market failures in regard to technological choice (extended vehicle vs. interoperable on-board application platform) and information and privacy problems (“notice and consent” solutions) can emerge, leading to the question of appropriate regulatory solutions. The paper discusses solutions through data portability, data rights, competition law, and recommends a sector-specific regulatory approach.
    Keywords: data governance, connected cars, data economy, data access
    JEL: K23 L62 L86 O33
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Joseph I. Uduji (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria); Elda N. Okolo-Obasi (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
    Abstract: The amount of improved seed used in Nigeria is extremely low. Overall, only 5 to 10 percent of cultivated land is planted with improved seeds, and about 10 percent of rural farmers use improved varieties. The objective of this investigation was to identify determinants of adoption of improved seed by farmers not participating in and those participating in the federal government’s e-wallet program in Nigeria. We determined the impact of the e-wallet program on adoption of improved seed in rural areas. One thousand, two hundred (1200) rural farmers were sampled across six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. Results from the use of a bivariate probit model indicated that the e-wallet program continued to become increasingly popular among rural farmers; and that farmers’ literacy, ownership of a mobile phone, value output, mobile network coverage, power for charging phone batteries and contact with extension agents were the positive determinants of farmer participation in thee-wallet program. Cultural obstacles to married women, growers’ age, and increased distance to registration and input collection centers reduced farmers’ tendency to participate in the e-wallet program. The results also showed that rural farmers depended on the e-wallet program for increased use and adoption of improved seed in Nigeria, to boost food security in sub-Saharan Africa. The results suggested the need for an improved e-wallet model by lessening constraints mostly associated with rural information and communication infrastructure, and distance to the registration and input collection centers.
    Keywords: Agricultural transformation agenda; bivariate probit model
    JEL: J43 O40 O55 Q10
    Date: 2018–01
  5. By: Hong Luo; Julie Holland Mortimer
    Abstract: Copyright infringement may result from frictions preventing legal consumption, but may also reveal demand. Motivated by this fact, we run a field experiment in which we contact firms that are caught infringing on expensive digital images. Emails to all firms include a link to the licensing page of the infringed image; for treated firms, we add links to a significantly cheaper licensing site. Making infringers aware of the cheaper option leads to a fourteen-fold increase in the ex-post licensing rate. Two additional experimental interventions are designed to reduce search costs for (i) price and (ii) product information. Both interventions-immediate price comparison and recommendation of images similar to those infringed-have large positive effects. Our results highlight the importance of mitigating user costs in small-value transactions.
    JEL: O3 O33 O34
    Date: 2019–01

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