nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2019‒10‒28
seven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Broadband Internet and the Self-Employment Rate: A Cross-Country Study on the Gig Economy By Piotr Denderski; Florian Sniekers
  2. Restrictions on Privacy and Exploitation in the Digital Economy: A Competition Law Perspective By Nicholas Economides; Ioannis Lianos
  3. What are the factors that influence the use of ICT in the classroom by teachers? Evidence from a census survey in Madrid By Nerea Gómez-Fernández; Mauro Mediavilla
  4. The Impact of Internet on Economic Growth: Evidence from North Africa By Bakari, Sayef; Tiba, Sofien
  5. Roles and Responsibilities of Project Coordinators: A Contingency Model for Project Coordinator Effectiveness By James Cunningham; Paul O'Reilly
  6. Standardisation Management By de Vries, H.J.
  7. Building knowledge-based economies in Africa: Asystematic review of policies and strategies By Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M

  1. By: Piotr Denderski; Florian Sniekers
    Abstract: Has the access to broadband Internet changed the composition of employment between payroll and self-employment? We propose a new theory of self-employment based on frictions in the goods and labour market and use variation in broadband access across a panel of OECD countries to test the theory’s empirical predictions. To account for the possible endogeneity of broadband Internet, we instrument broadband adoption by a logistic diffusion model in which the availability of pre-existing technologies predicts broadband penetration. We find that faster Internet prompts more self-employment and lower unemployment. In our theory, this combination implies that the overall improvements in market efficiency stemming from advances in ICT are stronger in the goods than in the labour market.
    Keywords: Self-employment, Internet, Gig economy
    JEL: J23 O33
  2. By: Nicholas Economides (Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business, New York, New York 10012); Ioannis Lianos (Professor of Global Competition Law and Public Policy, Faculty of Laws, University College London, and Hellenic Competition Commission)
    Abstract: The recent controversy on the intersection of competition law with the protection of privacy, following the emergence of big data and social media is a major challenge for competition authorities worldwide. Recent technological progress in data analytics may greatly facilitate the prediction of personality traits and attributes from even a few digital records of human behaviour. There are different perspectives globally as to the level of personal data protection and the role competition law may play in this context, hence the discussion of integrating such concerns in competition law enforcement may be premature for some jurisdictions. However, a market failure approach may provide common intellectual foundations for the assessment of harms associated to the exploitation of personal data, even when the specific legal system does not formally recognize a fundamental right to privacy. The paper presents a model of market failure based on a requirement provision in the acquisition of personal information from users of other products/services. We establish the economic harm from the market failure and the requirement using the traditional competition law toolbox and focusing more on situations in which the restriction on privacy may be analysed as a form of exploitation. Eliminating the requirement and the market failure by creating a functioning market for the sale of personal information is imperative. This emphasis on exploitation does not mean that restrictions on privacy may not result from exclusionary practices. However, we analyse these in a separate study. Besides the traditional analysis of the requirement and market failure, we note that there are typically informational asymmetries between the data controller and the data subject. The latter may not be aware that his data was harvested, in the first place, or that the data will be processed by the data controller for a different purpose, or shared and sold to third parties. The exploitation of personal data may also result from economic coercion, on the basis of resource-dependence or lock-in of the user, the latter having no other choice, in order to enjoy the consumption of a specific service provided by the data controller or its ecosystem, than to consent to the harvesting and use of his data. A behavioural approach would also emphasise the possible internalities (demand-side market failures) coming out of the bounded rationality, or the fact that people do not internalise all consequences of their actions and face limits in their cognitive capacities. The paper also addresses the way competition law could engage with exploitative conduct leading to privacy harm, both for ex ante and ex post enforcement. With regard to ex ante enforcement, the paper explores how privacy concerns may be integrated in merger control as part of the definition of product quality, the harm in question being merely exploitative (the possibility the data aggregation provides to the merged entity to exploit (personal) data in ways that harm directly consumers), rather than exclusionary (harming consumers by enabling the merged entity to marginalise a rival with better privacy policies), which is examined in a separate paper. With regard to ex post enforcement, the paper explores different theories of harm that may give rise to competition law concerns and suggest specific tests for their assessment. In particular, we analyse old and new exploitative theories of harm relating to excessive data extraction, personalised pricing, unfair commercial practices and trading conditions, exploitative requirement contracts, behavioural manipulation. We are in favour of collective action to restore the conditions of a well-functioning data market and the report makes a number of policy recommendations.
    Keywords: personal information; Internet search; Google; Facebook; digital; privacy; restrictions of competition; exploitation; market failure; hold up; merger; abuse of a dominant position; unfair commercial practices; excessive data extraction; self-determination; behavioural manipulation; remedies; portability; opt out.
    JEL: K21 L1 L12 L4 L41 L5 L86 L88
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Nerea Gómez-Fernández (Universitat Politècnica de València); Mauro Mediavilla (Universitat de València & Institut d’Economia de Barcelona (IEB))
    Abstract: With the world becoming increasingly digitalized, ICT has a key role to play in the educational process. The aim of this research is to determine the personal characteristics of teachers, as well as those of the school and class environment, that make them more likely to use ICT in their classes. This research is especially interesting given that there is little pre-existing literature in this regard. For this purpose, we estimate a logistic model with data from the census survey for the Community of Madrid (2016-2017 academic year) of the individualized evaluation of students in the final evaluation of their fourth year of Compulsory Secondary Education for four different competences: Mathematics, social and civic competence, English and Spanish. Our results suggest that higher teacher motivation, greater use of ICT by students in school and at home and better-prepared teachers who require less ICT training is associated with more frequent use of ICT in the classroom in all four subjects. However, some of the determinants of the use of ICT differ according to the competence evaluated. Teachers working full time use ICT more frequently in the classroom, but only in Spanish and Mathematics. On the other hand, teachers with greater disruption of order in their class use ICT less frequently in social and civic competence and English. We also find that a lack of digital devices in the school is associated with lower uses of ICT in English, Spanish and Mathematics but is associated with a higher use in social and civic competence. Finally, we also find that private and semiprivate schools use more ICT than public schools in Mathematics, English and Spanish.
    Keywords: Compulsory Secondary Education, ICT, classroom, teachers
    JEL: I20 I21 O33
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Bakari, Sayef; Tiba, Sofien
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to treat the impact of the internet on growth for a sample in the case 4 economies of the North Africa over the period 1995-2017 using various techniques such as the ARDL bounds testing approach, Panel ARDL Model, OLS Fixed Effect, OLS Random Effect, FMOLS, 2 SLS, RLS, GLM, and GMM. Indeed, for the time series results, the ARDL highlights reported the presence of a negative impact of the internet on economic growth in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. Also, the main results of the Panel data models confirm the fact that the internet exerts a significant negative impact on growth for North Africa as a whole. These economies are invited to orient the use of the internet towards productive ways in order to reap the benefits of the spread of the internet and proactively enhance the prosperity in this region as a whole.
    Keywords: Internet use, economic growth, North Africa
    JEL: O3 O35 O4 O47 O55 O57
    Date: 2019
  5. By: James Cunningham (Northumbria University); Paul O'Reilly (TU Dublin)
    Abstract: Project coordinators fulfil several roles and responsibilities alongside their primary scientific focus. As boundary spanners between science and industry they have an invisible central role in the delivery of innovation from publicly funded science through technology transfer. In this report we review present empirical literature relating to the role and responsibilities of principal coordinators and we propose a contingency model for studying the effectiveness of project coordinators. The roles, responsibilities and activities of the PC are identified. In our contingency model the threshold roles and responsibilities are identified in the PC as: (i) research leader, (ii) research allocator and controller, (iii) innovation facilitator, (iv) boundary spanner, and (v) project coordinator and manager. These are developed into expanded PC role capabilities that include: (i) research strategist, (ii) economic agent, (iii) technology and knowledge transfer enabler, (iv) collaboration and value creation leader, and (v) manager and governor.
    Keywords: Industrial research and innovation, Financial and economic analysis, Digital Economy, ICT R&D and Innovation
    Date: 2019–10
  6. By: de Vries, H.J.
    Abstract: Standards are essential for the success of products and services in the market, and for the well-functioning of processes and organisations. Trends such as globalisation, integration of ICT and electrotechnology in almost every sector, and the increased attention for sustainability, have made standards even more important. Unfortunately, little research is available to provide a better understanding of this phenomenon. In my inaugural lecture I first give an overview of the research I have conducted on the processes of standardisation. I discuss standards development, dissemination, market acceptance, implementation and use, and impact of standards and standardisation on business and society. In future research, my research agenda will focus on three levels of standardisation management: (1) within companies, (2) in complex projects involving many stakeholders, and (3) at local, national, regional and global level. I illustrate the societal relevance of my research with some examples about animals.
    Keywords: Normen, normalisatie, standaarden, bedrijfskunde, innovatie
    JEL: L1 L15
    Date: 2019–10–04
  7. By: Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
    Abstract: Compared to other regions of the world, Africa is lagging in its drive toward knowledge-basedeconomies. This study systematically reviews the literature in order to highlight the policies andstrategies with which African countries can accelerate their current drive towards buildingknowledge-based economies. These are discussed in terms of three pillars of the World Bank?sknowledge economy framework. They are the indices for: (i) education and skilled population, (ii)information and communication technology and (iii) economic incentives and institutional regime.
    Keywords: Knowledge economy; Development; Africa
    Date: 2019–10

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