nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2019‒10‒14
three papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Emerging African Economies:Digital Structures, Disruptive Responses and Demographic Implications By Nwaobi, Godwin
  2. Narrowing the ‘digital divide’: the role of complementarities between fixed and mobile data in South Africa By Ryan Hawthrone; Lukasz Grzybowksi
  3. Management Practices and Labor Productivity in Intensive Care Homes for the Elderly (Japanese) By INUI Tomohiko; KAWASAKI Kazuyasu; ITO Yukiko; MIYAGAWA Tsutomu; MANO Toshiki

  1. By: Nwaobi, Godwin
    Abstract: Indeed, the world economy is a complex system that has undergone many different phases in the past century. Particularly, the African economy is undergoing a series of transformations (transitions) that subject the future to considerable uncertainty, complexity and unpredictability. In fact, some transformations are cyclical while others are longer-term and more structural in nature. Yet, these transitions or emergence interact in shaping the future; making extrapolation from the past an increasingly unreliable source for future predictions. Thus unlike the previous revolutions, the fourth industrial revolution is characterized by the emergence of various technologies such as virtual (augmented) realities, nanotechnologies, 3D printing, machine learning, big data, cloud computing, drones, autonomous vehicles, robotics, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. Again, in this digitization era, work is constantly reshaped by technological progress, while firms adopt new ways of production and markets expand. In other worlds, digital technology brings opportunity, pave the way to create new jobs and increase productivity. Unfortunately, this paper argued that while the digital revolution has forged ahead, its analog complements (regulated entry and competition, new economy skills access and accountable institutions) have not kept pace in Africa. Consequently, African governments should formulate digital development strategies that are much broader than current ICTs strategies. That is, they should create a policy and institutional environment for technology that fosters the greatest benefits to African people of twenty-first century and beyond.
    Keywords: Africa, Digitization, Industrial Revolution, Technologies, Disruptions, Development, Old Work, Innovation, Automation, ICTs, E-commerce Robotics, Artificial Intelligence Block Chain, Cryptology, Fintech, Productivity, New Skills, Human Capital, Institutions, Policies, Emergence, Transformations, Economies, Analog Complements, Unemployment, New Jobs, Social Protection
    JEL: D80 D83 E24 E60 G10 I2 J10 J40 J6 J60 L50 O10 O30 O31 O33 O38
    Date: 2019–10–03
  2. By: Ryan Hawthrone; Lukasz Grzybowksi
    Abstract: We study substitution between fixed and mobile broadband services in South Africa using survey data on 134,000 individuals between 2009 and 2014. In our discrete-choice model, individuals choose fixed or mobile and data services in a framework that allows them to be substitutes or complements. We find that voice services are complements on average but data services are substitutes. However, many consumers see data services as complements. Our results show that having a computer and access to an internet connection at work or school are more important that reducing mobile data prices by 10% in driving broadband penetration.
    Keywords: Fixed-To-Mobile Substitution, Mobile Broadband, Fixed Broadband
    JEL: L13 L43 L96
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: INUI Tomohiko; KAWASAKI Kazuyasu; ITO Yukiko; MIYAGAWA Tsutomu; MANO Toshiki
    Abstract: With the aging of Japanese society, the demand for care services for the elderly is rapidly increasing. It is already difficult to provide enough care services, and we anticipate an enormous increase in costs for care services in the future. To cope with these situations, it is of paramount importance to improve the efficiency of the long-term care service industry. Previous studies found that the better-managed establishments recruit and retain workers with higher capabilities and achieve higher productivity. The establishments with better management practices have been found to provide higher quality service in the case of non-profit organizations, such as hospitals and schools. Our study examines the relationship between labor productivity and management practices in Japanese intensive care homes for the elderly. We find a positive relationship between the management practices and each of the following: labor productivity, ICT and robot adoption, and manager's hours spent improving services. On the other hand, there was no correlation between the management practices and the retention rate of workers or the shares of aged workers.
    Date: 2019–08

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