nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2019‒12‒02
five papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Technology Adoption and Access to Credit via Mobile Phones By Apoorv Gupta; Jacopo Ponticelli; Andrea Tesei
  2. Technology-induced Trade Shocks? Evidence from Broadband Expansion in France By Clément Malgouyres; Thierry Mayer; Clément Mazet-Sonilhac
  3. Data Markets in Making: The Role of Technology Giants By Koski, Heli; Pantzar, Mika
  4. Call Your Leader: Does the Mobile Phone Affect Policymaking? By Rezki, Jahen Fachrul
  5. Prospects for Decent Work in Services By Khatiwada, Sameer; Flaminiano, John Paul

  1. By: Apoorv Gupta (Northwestern University); Jacopo Ponticelli (Northwestern University & CEPR); Andrea Tesei (Queen Mary University of London, CEPR, CEP (LSE) & CESifo)
    Abstract: Farmers in developing countries often lack access to timely and reliable information about modern technologies that are essential to improve agricultural productivity. The recent diffusion of mobile phones has the potential to overcome these barriers by making information available to those previously unconnected. In this paper we study the effect of mobile phone network expansion in rural India on adoption of high yielding variety seeds and chemical fertilizers. Our empirical strategy exploits geographical variation in the construction of mobile phone towers under a large government program targeting areas without existing coverage. To explore the role of mobile phones in mitigating information frictions we analyze the content of 1.4 million phone calls made by farmers to a major call center for agricultural advice. Farmers seek advice on which seed varieties and fertilizers better meet their needs and how to use them. We find that areas receiving mobile phone coverage experience higher adoption of these technologies. We also observe that farmers are often unaware of the eligibility criteria and loan terms offered by subsidized credit programs. Consistently, we find that areas receiving mobile phone coverage experience higher take-up of agricultural credit.
    Keywords: India, Agriculture, HYV Seeds, Credit Card
    JEL: G21 Q16 E51
    Date: 2019–09–12
  2. By: Clément Malgouyres (IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Thierry Mayer (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Clément Mazet-Sonilhac (IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France)
    Abstract: In this paper, we document the presence of "technology-induced" trade in France between 1997 and 2007 and assess its impact on consumer welfare. We use the staggered roll-out of broadband internet to estimate its causal effect on the importing behavior of affected firms. Using an event-study design, we find that broadband expansion increases firm-level imports by around 25%. We further find that the "sub-extensive" margin (number of products and sourcing countries per firm) is the main channel of adjustment and that the effect is larger for capital goods. Finally, we develop a model where firms optimize over their import strategy and which yields a sufficient statistics formula for the quantification of the effects of broadband on consumer welfare. Interpreted within this model, our reduced-form estimates imply that broadband internet reduced the consumer price index by 1.7% and that the import-channel, i.e. the enhanced access to foreign goods that is allowed by broadband, accounts for a quarter of that effect.
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Koski, Heli; Pantzar, Mika
    Abstract: Abstract This paper focuses on the role of large technology companies’ entry and expansion to the data-intensive market areas via their technological development and strategic acquisitions of companies. We analyze the evolvement of personal data related innovation in various data-intensive domains. We find that the ideas related to personal data are increasingly protected by patents. The growth in the numbers of personal data related patents was relatively modest from 2005 to the early 2010s, but it has intensified since 2011. Large technology companies’ entry to various new market areas is reflected in an exponential increase in patent applications particularly in the artificial intelligence domain. Furthermore, we find that the number of artificial intelligence/data analytics companies acquired by the data giants has escalated during the 2010s. Patent and acquisition data further echo technology giants’ intentions to expand their activities into the financial and personal health services. Overall, the data show the data giants’ buyouts are frequently targeted to companies active in the markets outside their core business. Our analysis illustrates how the divergencies in the data giants’ innovation activities and strategic acquisitions have led them to each conquer their specific areas of dominance in the global markets for data.
    Keywords: Data economy, Innovation, Patents, Acquisitions, Technology giants
    JEL: G34 L12 L25 O33
    Date: 2019–11–19
  4. By: Rezki, Jahen Fachrul
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on policymaking on an Indonesian Village level. In this study, I use data from different waves of the Indonesian Village Potential Statistics (Potensi Desa) to determine whether mobile phone signal strength affects village policies and civic engagement activities. The results indicate that villages with a strong signal are statistically more likely to possess the proper infrastructure and economic programs. Furthermore, mobile phones increase civic engagement, which is consistent with previous studies related to collective action or mass mobilisation. Using the plausibly exogenous variation of lightning strike intensity as the instrumental variable, this study suggests that higher mobile phone signal strength is positively associated with the policies implemented by the village head. This study also demonstrates that ICT has a stronger effect in rural areas. One possible explanation is that mobile phones improve the relative ability for rural people to interact with their leaders. Another potential answer is the fact that there are significant differences between rural village and urban village governments, which could also affect policymaking.
    Date: 2018–11–23
  5. By: Khatiwada, Sameer (Asian Development Bank Institute); Flaminiano, John Paul (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: We examine how the services sector could provide decent and gainful employment in developing Asia. Using living wages as a reference point, we report that a significant portion of the workforce in developing Asian economies, the majority of which are employed in the agricultural sector, are not living wage earners. On the other hand, manufacturing, and to a larger extent, services, are able to provide their workforce with good jobs. Economies that are more successful at moving workers from low- to high-productivity sectors have done better on job creation accompanied with improved productivity, higher wages, and large reductions in poverty. Recent developments of information and communication technology industries, as in the case of India and the Philippines, is a striking example of how developing economies can open up business opportunities through global outsourcing of tradable labor. We highlight the importance of improving human capital through education and upskilling, as well as physical and digital infrastructure, to address the large supply of low-productivity and informal sector workers in developing Asia, and to provide new and gainful employment opportunities.
    Keywords: decent jobs; modern services; living wages; technology; tradability
    JEL: J30 L80 O14 O40 O47 O53
    Date: 2019–04–05

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