nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒03‒02
ten papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. How Broadband Internet Affects Labor Market Matching By Manudeep Bhuller; Andreas R. Kostol; Trond C. Vigtel
  2. Online banking services and branch networks By Amanda Carmignani; Marco Manile; Andrea Orame; Marcello Pagnini
  3. Digital Adoption, Automation, and Labor Markets in Developing and Emerging Economies By Alan Finkelstein Shapiro; Federico S. Mandelman
  4. Policy and Regulatory Issues with Digital Businesses By Chen,Rong - DECAG
  5. Environmental regulation and productivity growth: main policy challenges By Roberta De Santis; Cecilia Jona Lasinio; Piero Esposito
  6. Recent or Free? An Experimental Study of the Motivations for Pirating Movies By Marc Bourreau; Marianne Lumeau; Francois Moreau; Jordana Viotto da Cruz
  7. Measuring Inequality of Access : Modeling Physical Remoteness in Nepal By Banick,Robert Steven; Kawasoe,Yasuhiro
  8. Yemen: Economy-wide impact of conflict and alternative scenarios for recovery By Althibah, Amir M.; Al Kebsi, Tarek; Breisinger, Clemens; Engelke, Wilfried; Tandon, Sharad A.; Raouf, Mariam; Wiebelt, Manfred
  9. A Novel Approach to the Automatic Designation of Predefined Census Enumeration Areas and Population Sampling Frames : A Case Study in Somalia By Qader,Sarchil; Lefebvre,Veronique; Ninneman,Amy; Himelein,Kristen; Pape,Utz Johann; Bengtsson,Linus; Tatem,Andy; Bird,Tomas
  10. Tech in Fin before FinTech: Blessing or Curse for Financial Stability? By Nicola Pierri; Yannick Timmer

  1. By: Manudeep Bhuller; Andreas R. Kostol; Trond C. Vigtel
    Abstract: How the internet affects job matching is not well understood due to a lack of data on job vacancies and quasi-experimental variation in internet use. This paper helps fill this gap using plausibly exogenous roll-out of broadband infrastructure in Norway, and comprehensive data on recruiters, vacancies and job seekers. We document that broadband expansions increased online vacancy-postings and lowered the average duration of a vacancy and the share of establishments with unfilled vacancies. These changes led to higher job-finding rates and starting wages and more stable employment relationships after an unemployment-spell. Consequently, our calculations suggest that the steady-state unemployment rate fell by as much as one-fifth.
    Keywords: unemployment, information, job search, matching
    JEL: D83 J63 J64 L86
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Amanda Carmignani (Bank of Italy); Marco Manile (Bank of Italy); Andrea Orame (Bank of Italy); Marcello Pagnini (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Notwithstanding internet banking is now widely used by retail customers, little is known about its effect on the banking industry. In this paper we study how internet banking relates to branching policies in Italian local credit markets. Focusing on the period 2012-2015, we show that branch closures were more intense for those local markets and banks where the diffusion of digital banking services was higher.
    Keywords: online banking services, bank branch networks
    JEL: G21 G34
    Date: 2020–02
  3. By: Alan Finkelstein Shapiro (Universidad de los Andes; Tufts University); Federico S. Mandelman (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
    Abstract: We document a strong negative link between self-employment and the rate of digital adoption by firms in developing and emerging economies. No link between digital adoption and the unemployment rate is found, however. To explain this evidence, we build a general equilibrium search-and-matching model with endogenous labor force participation, self-employment, endogenous firm entry, and information-and-communications technology adoption. The main finding is that changes in the cost of technology adoption per se cannot rationalize the evidence. Instead, changes in firms' barriers to entry directly linked to the cost of technology adoption are key to explain the data.
    Keywords: automation; self-employment; digital adoption; Information-and-telecommunications-technology capital (ICT); labor search frictions; endogenous firm entry; developing and emerging economies; unemployment
    JEL: E24 J23 J24 J64 O14
    Date: 2019–12–02
  4. By: Chen,Rong - DECAG
    Abstract: Advances in digital technology are expanding the boundaries of firms. Digital platform firms, which leverage a"platform"to create value through facilitating exchanges between two or more interdependent groups, are the new disrupters in the market. They exhibit distinct features such as scale without mass, positive network effects, accumulation of tremendous data, and a convoluted value creation process with user participation. Meanwhile, they bring more opportunities to traditional businesses by closely connecting suppliers and customers and reducing transaction frictions. Such a changing business landscape calls for adaptive policies and regulations. This policy paper lays out the key policy and regulatory issues around digital businesses. Competition laws need to be revisited to address the winner-take-all tendency of digital platform businesses. Tax systems should also be updated to close the loopholes available to digital platform businesses so that they pay their fair share to society. This paper also provides the first analysis of the World Bank's Digital Business Indicators initiative, which collects information on the existence and quality of regulations in broadband connectivity, digital payment, data privacy and security, as well as logistics, in 21 pilot countries. It aims to explore the possibilities for developing the regulatory and policy indicators that governments can work with to promote the digital economy.
    Keywords: Information Security&Privacy,Information Technology,Telecommunications Infrastructure,Economic Adjustment and Lending,Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction,Macro-Fiscal Policy,Public Sector Economics,Taxation&Subsidies,ICT Applications
    Date: 2019–07–24
  5. By: Roberta De Santis (ISTAT); Cecilia Jona Lasinio (ISTAT); Piero Esposito (LUISS)
    Abstract: In this paper, we empirically analyse the environmental regulation-productivity nexus for 14 OECD countries in the period 1990-2013. Our findings support the hypothesis that environmental policies have a productivity growth enhancing effect through innovation as suggested by Porter and Van Der Linde (1995). We provide evidence that both market and non-marked based policies foster labour and multifactor productivity growth and that the positive association is better captured by environmental adjusted productivity indicators. Moreover, we find that productivity increases resulting from changes in the environmental regulation pass through a stimulus to capital accumulation and this effect is concentrated in high ICT intensive countries. Overall, the need to speed up the transition towards a “green economy” for environmental protection purposes can be seen also as an opportunity to improve competitiveness generating a virtuous circle between innovation and environmental friendly production techniques.
    Keywords: Inenvironmental regulation, productivity, innovation, Porter hypothesis,
    JEL: D24 Q50 Q55 O47 O31
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Marc Bourreau; Marianne Lumeau; Francois Moreau; Jordana Viotto da Cruz
    Abstract: The emergence of online providers aggregating illegal content from streaming platforms is rekindling the debate about online piracy. In the past, the discussion mainly focused on the impact of piracy in content industries and the effect of anti-piracy measures. But little is known about one crucial aspect of piracy: consumers’ motivations to use illegal channels. Yet, understanding consumers’ behavior could help practitioners and policymakers to allocate their resources better to fight online piracy. In this paper, we fill this gap by focusing on two main motives for the illegal consumption of online content: paying lower (zero) prices and having access to content that is not available in legal channels. To disentangle the role of each motivation in consumers’ choice, we ran a laboratory experiment with real consumption, a methodology that provides participants with incentives to reveal their true preferences about consumption while controlling for the choice environment and the consideration set. Our results suggest that consumers turn to illegal channels primarily to save on the price of content, and that they are less sensitive to the availability of content in legal and illegal channels. We discuss the implications of our findings for practitioners and policymakers.
    Keywords: piracy, digitization, movies, free, release windows, experiment
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Banick,Robert Steven; Kawasoe,Yasuhiro
    Abstract: Simple linear distances between origin and destination poorly describe travel in Nepal, where rugged terrain, underdeveloped transportation infrastructure, and diverse vegetation heavily influence favorable travel routes. In this context, expected travel times explain more about the remoteness of starting locations than geographic distance. Applied to service facilities, these time?based measures of remoteness amount to measures of physical accessibility to services. However, traditional survey?based measures of time suffer from problems of inaccurate reporting and standard survey error. Instead, this study built a geographic information system?based cost time model of travel that enables more accurate and generalizable assessment of accessibility. Having validated the generic model and compared it with other popular metrics, the study demonstrates its value by inputting a variety of services into it. This paper provides descriptive analyses of accessibility trends to these services at national, provincial, municipal, and geographic scales and suggests research possibilities unlocked by such a general purpose model. The paper concludes with thoughts for how the data and analysis, both freely available public goods, can enable additional research and better policy making.
    Keywords: ICT Policy and Strategies,Transport Services,Inequality,Health Care Services Industry,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2019–08–06
  8. By: Althibah, Amir M.; Al Kebsi, Tarek; Breisinger, Clemens; Engelke, Wilfried; Tandon, Sharad A.; Raouf, Mariam; Wiebelt, Manfred
    Abstract: In addition to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis and the creation of space for militant groups, the conflict in Yemen is also taking a heavy toll on the economy. According to estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF 2018), the Yemeni economy may have contracted by about 40 percent between end-2014 and 2018. Sector-specific information on physical damages from the World Bank’s Yemen Dynamic Needs Assessment (World Bank 2018) suggests that damage was worst in the housing sector, where 33 percent of housing units have been either partially damaged or completely destroyed. The education, health, transport, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors have also been severely affected, with overall damage ranging from 27 percent (transport) to 31 percent (WASH). The power and ICT sectors have been somewhat less affected, with estimated damage levels of 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
    Keywords: YEMEN, ARAB COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTHWESTERN ASIA, ASIA, economic development, conflicts, economic growth, armed conflicts, war, governance, development aid,
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Qader,Sarchil; Lefebvre,Veronique; Ninneman,Amy; Himelein,Kristen; Pape,Utz Johann; Bengtsson,Linus; Tatem,Andy; Bird,Tomas
    Abstract: Enumeration areas are the operational geographic units for the collection, dissemination, and analysis of census data and are often used as a national sampling frame for various types of surveys. Traditionally, enumeration areas are created by manually digitizing small geographic units on high-resolution satellite imagery or physically walking the boundaries of units, both of which are highly time, cost, and labor intensive. In addition, creating enumeration areas requires considering the size of the population and area within each unit. This is an optimization problem that can best be solved by a computer. This paper, for the first time, produces an automatic designation of predefined census enumeration areas based on high-resolution gridded population and settlement data sets and using publicly available natural and administrative boundaries. This automated approach is compared with manually digitized enumeration areas that were created in urban areas in Mogadishu and Hargeisa for the United Nations Population Estimation Survey for Somalia in 2014. The automatically generated enumeration areas are consistent with standard enumeration areas, including having identifiable boundaries to field teams on the ground, and appropriate sizing and population for coverage by an enumerator. Furthermore, the automated urban enumeration areas have no gaps. The paper extends this work to rural Somalia, for which no records exist of previous enumeration area demarcations. This work shows the time, labor, and cost-saving value of automated enumeration area delineation and points to the potential for broadly available tools that are suitable for low-income and data-poor settings but applicable to potentially wider contexts.
    Keywords: Inequality,Armed Conflict,ICT Applications,Employment and Unemployment
    Date: 2019–08–08
  10. By: Nicola Pierri; Yannick Timmer
    Abstract: Motivated by the world-wide surge of FinTech lending, we analyze the implications of lenders’ information technology adoption for financial stability. We estimate bank-level intensity of IT adoption before the global financial crisis using a novel dataset that provides information on hardware used in US commercial bank branches after mapping them to their parent bank. We find that higher intensity of IT-adoption led to significantly lower non-performing loans when the crisis hit: banks with a one standard deviation higher IT-adoption experienced 10% lower non-performing loans. High-IT-adoption banks were not less exposed to the crisis through their geographical footprint, business model, funding sources, or other observable characteristics. Loan-level analysis indicates that high-IT-adoption banks originated mortgages with better performance and did not offload low-quality loans. We apply a simple text-analysis algorithm to the biographies of top executives and find that banks led by more “tech-oriented” managers adopted IT more intensively and experienced lower non-performing loans during the crisis. Our results suggest that technology adoption in lending can enhance financial stability through the production of more resilient loans.
    Date: 2020–01–17

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