nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2019‒05‒27
seven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Is Super-Fast Broadband Negative? An IV-Estimation of the Broadband Effect on Firms' Sales and Employment Level By Nordin, Martin; Grenestam , Erik; Gullstrand , Joakim
  2. Transition from copper to fiber broadband: the role of connection speed and switching costs By Lukasz Grzybowski; Maude Hasbi; Julienne Liang
  3. Let’s tweet again? The impact of social networks on literature achievement in high school students: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial. By Gian Paolo Barbetta; Paolo Canino; Stefano Cima
  4. The Mobile Phone, Information Sharing and Financial Sector Development in Africa: A Quantile Regressions Approach By Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
  5. Premature Deindustrialization through the Lens of Occupations: Which Jobs, Why, and Where? By Francisco David Kunst
  6. An Experimental Study on the Effects of Communication, Credibility, and Clustering in Network Games By Gary Charness; Francesco Feri; Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez; Matthias Sutter
  7. Network Effects in Internal Migration By Laszlo Lorincz; Brigitta Nemeth

  1. By: Nordin, Martin (Department of Economics, Lund University); Grenestam , Erik (Department of Economics, Lund University); Gullstrand , Joakim (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between super-fast broadband and firms’ sales and employment level in Sweden. It is important to learn more about this recent technological change and few studies has explored the impact of super-fast broadband on firm outcomes. We use the previous roll-out of second-generation internet access to identify the effect of third-generation internet access. The early investments in optic fiber where largely core broadband network investments paving the way for later investments in third-generation broadband technology. Municipalities choosing providers who prioritized cheap technology (broadband over telephone lines, DSL) targeting the many, thus fell behind municipalities choosing providers investing in optic fiber. We find heterogeneity in the broadband effect, but the overall effect is negative. This effect may be associated with the roll-out of 4G mobile broadband in 2011; mobile broadband services are a byproduct of optic fiber because mobile broadband is transmitted from the same high capacity fiber-optic base stations. We suggest that the negative effect found is related to internet use at work and the mixing of private and work related internet use.
    Keywords: broadband; optic fiber; firm output; employment; regional analysis
    JEL: D22 J23 O30 R50
    Date: 2019–05–13
  2. By: Lukasz Grzybowski (Télécom ParisTech); Maude Hasbi (Télécom ParisTech); Julienne Liang (Orange Labs [Paris] - Telecom Orange)
    Abstract: We estimate a mixed logit model using data on choices of broadband technologies by 94,388 subscribers to a single broadband operator in a European country on a monthly basis from January to December 2014. We find that valuation of DSL connection speed in the range between 1 and 8 MB/s is very similar. Moreover, in January 2014, the valuation of FttH connection with speed of 100 MB/s is not much different than of DSL connection with speed of 1 or 8 MB/s but it increased over time. The small initial difference in valuation of DSL and FttH connections may be because basic Internet needs of consumers such as emailing, reading news, shopping, browsing and even watching videos online could be satisfied with connection speed below 8 MB/s. We also find that consumers face significant switching costs when changing broadband tariffs, which are substantially higher when switching from DSL to FttH technology. According to counterfactual simulations based on our model estimates, switching costs between technologies are the main factor which slows down transition from DSL to FttH.
    Keywords: FttH,DSL,connection speed,switching costs
    Date: 2018–03
  3. By: Gian Paolo Barbetta (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Paolo Canino; Stefano Cima
    Abstract: The availability of cheap wi-fi internet connections has stimulated schools to adopt Web 2.0 platforms for teaching. Using social networks and micro-blogs, teachers aim to stimulate students’ participation in school activities and their achievement. Although anecdotal evidence shows a high level of teacher satisfaction with these platforms, only a small number of studies has produced rigorous estimates of their effects on students’ achievement. We contribute to the knowledge in this field by analyzing the impact of using micro-blogs as a teaching tool on the reading and comprehension skills of students. Thanks to a large-scale randomized controlled trial, we find that using Twitter to teach literature has an overall negative effect on students’ average achievement, reducing performance on a standardized test score by about 25 to 40% of a standard deviation. The negative effect is heterogeneous with respect to some students’ characteristics. More specifically, the use of this Web 2.0 application appears to have a stronger detrimental effect on students who usually perform better.
    Keywords: ICT, education, literature performance, RCT.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2019–05
  4. By: Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
    Abstract: This study investigates linkages between the mobile phone, information sharing offices (ISO) and financial sector development in 53 African countries for the period 2004-2011. ISO are private credit bureaus and public credit registries. The empirical evidence is based on contemporary and non-contemporary quantile regressions. Two main hypotheses are tested: mobile phones complement ISO to enhance the formal financial sector (Hypothesis 1) and mobile phones complement ISO to reduce the informal financial sector (Hypothesis 2). The hypotheses are largely confirmed. This research adds to the existing body of literature by engaging hitherto unexplored dimensions of financial sector development and investigating the role of mobile phones in information sharing for financial sector development.
    Keywords: Information sharing; Banking sector development; Africa
    JEL: G20 G29 L96 O40 O55
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Francisco David Kunst (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: A recent literature documents that manufacturing employment growth in developing countries has been sluggish over the past decades, and that deindustrialization has often set in at historically low levels of income. However, there is little evidence on which kind of jobs are disappearing prematurely, and some debate on whether the phenomenon is structural or transitory. In this article, I use a new data set on manufacturing employment by occupation to document four stylized facts about `premature deindustrialization’: first, it is mostly unskilled jobs that have disappeared, and also the wage premium of workers with little formal education in manufacturing relative to other industries has declined. Second, the disappearing jobs have been among the most formal–both relative to other industries, and to the manufacturing average. Third, premature deindustrialization has been driven by occupations which are intensive in tasks that are vulnerable to an increasing adoption of ICT. Fourth, the phenomenon pertains most clearly to middle income countries, as low income countries have been spared from premature job losses. Overall, the employment patterns are consistent with a pervasive shift of the `automation frontier' separating tasks that are automated from those which are not, and suggest a structural decrease in the ability of manufacturing to employ unskilled labor productively.
    Keywords: premature deindustrialization, manufacturing, technological change, globalization
    JEL: O3 J2 O1
    Date: 2019–05–06
  6. By: Gary Charness (University of California at Santa Barbara, IZA Bonn, and CESifo Munich); Francesco Feri (Royal Holloway University of London and University of Trieste); Miguel A. Meléndez-Jiménez (Universidad de Málaga); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: The effectiveness of social interaction depends strongly on an ability to coordinate actions efficiently. In large networks, such coordination may be very difficult to achieve and may depend on the communication technology and the network structure. We examine how pre-play communication and clustering within networks affect coordination in a challenging experimental game on eight-person networks. Free-form chat is enormously effective in achieving the non-equilibrium efficient outcome in our game, but restricted communication (where subjects can only indicate their intended action) is almost entirely ineffective. We can rationalize this result with a novel model about the credibility of cheap-talk messages. This credibility is much larger with free-form message communication than with restricted communication. We are the first to model this credibility and show, both theoretically and experimentally, an interaction effect of network structure and communication technologies. We also provide a model of message diffusion, which indeed predicts that diffusion will be more rapid without clustering and is consistent with our data.
    Keywords: Networks, Clustering, Communication, Credibility, Cheap talk, Experiment
    JEL: C71 C91 D03 D85
    Date: 2019–05
  7. By: Laszlo Lorincz (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Corvinus University of Budapest); Brigitta Nemeth (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: Previous studies have shown the impact of family, community, and ethnic networks on migration. Our research focuses on the role of social networks in Hungarian internal migration. We examine the factors determining out-migration rate from municipalities, and the factors influencing location choice by analysingmigration volumes on the municipality-municipality level. We measure social network effects by the migration rate of previous years, and by the intensity of user-user connections on the iWiW online social network (representing3.7million users) between two municipalities. The migration volumes and the characteristics of the municipalities are included in the analysis based on administrative data, and the distance between municipalities are indicated by the travel time. We analyselongitudinal data for the2000-2014 period, and cross-sectional models for the year 2014. Based on multilevel and fixed-effect regression models we show that both leaving and choosing municipalities is associated with network effects: the migration of previous years, and also the connections on iWiW social network influence the current migration rate, even after controlling for each other.
    Keywords: chain migration, internal migration, network effects, online social networks, social networks
    JEL: R23
    Date: 2019–05

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