nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒03‒09
ten papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Does retirement decrease the familiarity with ICT of older individuals? By Danilo Cavapozzi; Chiara Dal Bianco
  2. Trends, Breaks and Persistence in Top Income Shares By Atanu Ghoshray; Issam Malki; Javier Ordóñez
  3. The role of ICT in modulating the effect of education and lifelong learning on income inequality and economic growth in Africa By Tchamyou, Vanessa S; Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
  4. The Impact of Mobile Money on Poor Rural Households : Experimental Evidence from Uganda By Wieser,Christina; Bruhn,Miriam; Kinzinger,Johannes Philipp; Ruckteschler,Christian Simon; Heitmann,Soren
  6. Accelerating technical change through video-mediated agricultural extension: Evidence from Ethiopia: By Abate, Gashaw T.; Bernard, Tanguy; Makhija, Simrin; Spielman, David J.
  7. From Theory to Practice : Open Government Data, Accountability, and Service Delivery By Jelenic,Michael Christopher
  8. Analysis of the practice and prospects of providing medical care using telemedicine technologies By Kovalev, Sergey (Ковалев, Сергей); Yashina, Elena (Яшина, Елена); Lukichev, Konstantin (Лукичев, Константин); Sorokoletov, Pavel (Сороколетов, Павел); Turzin, Petr (Турзин, Петр); Generalov, Andrey (Генералов, Андрей); Evseev, Alexander (Евсеев, Александр); Knutov, Artem (Кнутов, Артем)
  9. Women’s empowerment, agricultural extension, and digitalization: Disentangling information and role model effects in rural Uganda: By Lecoutere, Els; Spielman, David J.; Van Campenhout, Bjorn
  10. Market Size, Sunk Costs of Entry, and Transport Costs : An Empirical Evaluation of the Impact of Demand-Side Factors versus Supply-Side Factors on Manufacturing Productivity By Jones,Patricia H.; Lartey,Emmanuel Kwasi Koranteng; Mengistae,Taye Alemu; Zeufack,Albert G.

  1. By: Danilo Cavapozzi (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Chiara Dal Bianco (University of Padua)
    Abstract: Inability to cope with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) might represent a threat for older individuals’ social inclusion. This paper analyses the effect of retirement on the familiarity with ICT of older individuals. To account for the potential endogeneity of retirement with respect to ICT knowledge we instrument retirement decision with the age-eligibility for early and statutory retirement pension schemes. Using data from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe we show that retirement reduces the computer literacy and the frequency of internet utilization for men and women. This effect is heterogeneous for women with respect to their propensity to opt for early or statutory retirement schemes. The exit from the labour market does not reduce ICT familiarity for the former, but it does for the latter. The negative retirement effect on ICT knowledge is stronger for white-collar workers, whose occupations require a more intense use of these skills as compared with blue-collar jobs.
    Keywords: Computer use, internet, retirement, instrumental variables, compliers
    JEL: J14 J21 J24
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Atanu Ghoshray (Department of Economics, Newcastle University Business School, UK); Issam Malki (Department of Finance and Accounting, University of Westminster; London, UK); Javier Ordóñez (IEI and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: We examine the top income share data of a sample of countries to empirically examine for the presence of structural breaks, linear trends and persistence. The analysis of the data is carried out separately for each individual country using novel econometric procedures that are both appropriate and robust. Various theories have been put forward to explain the causes of structural breaks in long run data, such as the introduction of assembly lines from the time of World War I and the ICT revolution. What we find is that there is no clear evidence that Anglo Saxon countries have similar trends as opposed to Nordic, Continental European or other Asian countries. The results are varied and no clear conclusion can be made. Further, the top income share data is found to be highly persistent, suggesting that shocks to the data are likely to be long-lived.
    Keywords: Unit Roots, Top Income Shares, Structural Breaks
    JEL: C22 C32 N30
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Tchamyou, Vanessa S; Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
    Abstract: This study assesses the role of ICT in modulating the impact of education and lifelong learning on income inequality and economic growth. It focuses on a sample of 48 African countries from 2004 to 2014. The empirical evidence is based on the generalised method of moments (GMM). The following findings are established. First, mobile phone and internet each interact with primary school education to decrease income inequality. Second, all ICT indicators interact with secondary school education to exert a negative impact on the Gini index. Third, fixed broadband distinctly interacts with primary school education and lifelong learning to have a positive effect on economic growth. Fourth, ICT indicators do not significantly influence inequality and economic growth through tertiary school education and lifelong learning. These main findings are further substantiated. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Education; Lifelong learning; ICT; Inequality; Africa
    Date: 2019–11
  4. By: Wieser,Christina; Bruhn,Miriam; Kinzinger,Johannes Philipp; Ruckteschler,Christian Simon; Heitmann,Soren
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of rolling out mobile money agents in rural Northern Uganda. In a randomized experiment, 168 areas were randomly selected to receive an agent in 2017, with another 163 areas serving as a control group. Administrative data on mobile money transactions suggest that the agent rollout increased the probability of sending and receiving peer-to-peer transfers. Data from a 2018 survey of more than 4,500 households show that the agent rollout led to cost-savings for remittance transactions. It also doubled the nonfarm self-employment rate, from 3.4 to 6.4 percent, and reduced the fraction of households with very low food security from 62.9 to 47.2 percent, in areas far from a bank branch. The analysis finds no effect on savings, agricultural outcomes, or poverty. Overall, the findings add new evidence that mobile money can improve livelihoods even in poor and remote settings.
    Keywords: ICT Economics,Inequality,Employment and Unemployment,Transport Services,Nutrition,Food Security
    Date: 2019–06–25
  5. By: Curraj, Erjon; Lab, SDAG
    Abstract: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Albania, similar to other markets, operate in complex, fast-paced and unpredictable environments due to their size and nature. In our contemporary knowledge-based economy, business is constantly changing, and SMEs are thus continually faced with the challenge to find new and innovative ways to improve and adapt to the rapid transformations. As a result, there is a growing interest and necessity for SMEs to explore and adapt new and innovative mechanisms for better decision making, which will then lead to improved performance and competitiveness. Digitalization of SMEs with the use of Business Intelligence (BI) and Knowledge Management (KM) systems is one such innovative instrument open to SMEs for a better performance and increased competitiveness. The research for this doctoral thesis is then set precisely in this configuration whereby: on one hand the current level of adoption and use of advanced ICTs and technological innovation within SMEs, or business digitalization as will be coined later, is relatively limited due to a variety of factors; and on the other hand ICTs themselves as technological systems or tools as well as part of business landscape, i.e. ICT as a sector, are a major driver of innovation, modernization and growth for the Albanian economy. This doctoral thesis addresses the gap in the current state of research regarding the development, adoption and use of advanced ICTs systems, i.e. business digitalization, within SMEs. In addition, the research for the doctoral thesis expands the challenge to the impact of business digitalization on performance of SMEs in Albania. Clearly, SMEs have been selected as the central ground of research not only to contribute towards filling a research gap in management and ICTs studies in Albania, but also because of the central role that SMEs play in Albanian economy and their future potential in the digital world. The results show that business digitalization impacts positively the overall performance of SMEs in Albania. Size, age and location of the SME dominate performance and are related to the business digitalisation more than strategy. Also, the entrepreneurial characteristics of the owner – manager also impact the digitalization. Having a clear business plan was also found to be important when it comes to using BI. SMEs in Albania are a vital part of the national economy and the research shows that there is growing interest in ICTs, digitalisation, BI and KM, but innovation is still at relatively low levels due to financial and human resources, which are limited. However, the research highlights that SMEs are very flexible and easy to adopt to change and when this is combined with a visionary owner- manager they tend to move towards business digitalisation. Another finding of this study is that digitalisation have lead SMEs to reconsider and re-conceptualise their business models attempting to move towards innovations that impact performance. Also, the concept of business model innovations is also gaining ground in SMEs in Albania. Findings show that the use of BI and other digitalisation processes is mainly driven by strategic and innovation related motives that are internal to the company and the owner-manager. The use of BI as a result of external technological factors also plays a role. Analysis of the findings show that the use of BI and digitalisation have a positive impact on business performance. The findings of this research paper have practical implications for the SMEs sector in Albania not only in providing an assessment of the current use of BI, but also in exploring the benefits and potential usage of BI as a necessary activity for deriving improved performance. Findings of this research can be used by owners-managers to better understand how firms can engage with digitalisation and BI and how their adoption and implementation affect business performance. Another implication for business sector is that digitally mature companies have better performance and thus derive more revenue and become more competitive. Finally, the research shows that digitization has a variety of dimensions and can be understood differently by different SMEs, owner-managers and staff, but it is a major contributor to business performance. Future research is needed to explore further the role of digitalisation processes in SMEs in Albania particularly related to enabling and hindering factors. In addition, further research is needed regarding the business model innovations, particularly in terms of human and organizational factors. This study is one of the first research contributions in the case of Albania to analyse the impact of digitalization, specifically the impact of BI on SMEs in Albania.
    Date: 2020–03–04
  6. By: Abate, Gashaw T.; Bernard, Tanguy; Makhija, Simrin; Spielman, David J.
    Abstract: Despite a rapidly growing enthusiasm around applications of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to smallholder agriculture in developing countries, there are still many questions on the effectiveness of ICT-based approaches. This study assesses the effects of videomediated agricultural extension service provision on farmers’ knowledge and adoption of improved agricultural technologies and practices in Ethiopia. The study focuses on a program piloted by the Government of Ethiopia and Digital Green and poses three questions. First, to what extent does video-mediated extension lead to increased uptake of improved agricultural technologies and practices by smallholder farmers? Second, is video-mediated extension targeted at both spouses of the household more effective than when only targeted at the (typically male) household head? Third, how cost-effective is a video-mediated approach to extension provision? The study explores these questions with a randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate the video-mediated approach as applied to three priority crops (teff, wheat, maize) and three technologies (row planting, precise seeding rates, and urea dressing). The trial was implemented in 347 kebeles (village clusters) during the 2017 meher (rainy) season in Ethiopia’s four most agriculturally important regional states. Analysis of data from our surveys of 2,422 households and 896 extension agents indicates that the video-mediated approach is more effective than the conventional approach in achieving several key outcomes. Specifically, we find that videomediated extension reaches a wider audience than the conventional approach and leads to higher levels of agricultural knowledge and uptake of technologies in those kebeles randomly assigned to the program. While our results do point to greater participation and greater knowledge of female spouses in kebeles where both male and female spouses were targeted by the program, we do not find clear evidence that the more inclusive approach translated into higher uptake of the subject technologies and practices. Finally, we find that the video-mediated approach becomes less costly as the scale of operation increases.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, agricultural extension, information and communication technologies (icts), crop management, smallholders, farmers, video-based extension, knowledge transfer,
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Jelenic,Michael Christopher
    Abstract: Open data and open government data have recently attracted much attention as a means to innovate, add value, and improve outcomes in a variety of sectors, public and private. Although some of the benefits of open data initiatives have been assessed in the past, particularly their economic and financial returns, it is often more difficult to evaluate their social and political impacts. In the public sector, a murky theory of change has emerged that links the use of open government data with greater government accountability as well as improved service delivery in key sectors, including health and education, among others. In the absence of cross-country empirical research on this topic, this paper asks the following: Based on the evidence available, to what extent and for what reasons is the use of open government data associated with higher levels of accountability and improved service delivery in developing countries? To answer this question, the paper constructs a unique data set that operationalizes open government data, government accountability, service delivery, as well as other intervening and control variables. Relying on data from 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the paper finds a number of significant associations between open government data, accountability, and service delivery. However, the findings suggest differentiated effects of open government data across the health and education sectors, as well as with respect to service provision and service delivery outcomes. Although this early research has limitations and does not attempt to establish a purely causal relationship between the variables, it provides initial empirical support for claims about the efficacy of open government data for improving accountability and service delivery.
    Keywords: ICT Policy and Strategies,ICT Legal and Regulatory Framework,Health Care Services Industry,Educational Sciences,Non Governmental Organizations,Public Sector Management and Reform,Economics and Institutions,Public Sector Economics,Public Financial Management,Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2019–06–04
  8. By: Kovalev, Sergey (Ковалев, Сергей) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Yashina, Elena (Яшина, Елена) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Lukichev, Konstantin (Лукичев, Константин) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Sorokoletov, Pavel (Сороколетов, Павел) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Turzin, Petr (Турзин, Петр) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Generalov, Andrey (Генералов, Андрей) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Evseev, Alexander (Евсеев, Александр) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Knutov, Artem (Кнутов, Артем) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The analysis of factors affecting the quality and timing of the implementation of the federal telemedicine subsystem of the Unified State Information System in the field of healthcare was carried out, and the mechanism of its functioning was considered. In addition, the compliance of goals and objectives with the concept of creating and developing the telemedicine subsystem of the EHISS for the period up to 2020 was revealed, taking into account the regional specifics and needs of the priority project “Improving the organization of medical care through the implementation of information technologies” (e-Health), and the Information Development Strategy societies in the Russian Federation for 2017 - 2030.
    Date: 2020–01
  9. By: Lecoutere, Els; Spielman, David J.; Van Campenhout, Bjorn
    Abstract: In many developing countries, agricultural extension services are generally biased towards men, with information targeted mainly to male members of a farming household and in formats that are rarely tailored to female members. Nevertheless, female farmers may also benefit from such services as this may affect their ability to make informed decisions, resulting in increased farm productivity, household income, and welfare. We conduct a gendered field experiment among maize-farming households in eastern Uganda to test whether video-enabled extension messaging affects outcomes related to maize cultivation. In this experiment, men, women, and couples are shown randomly assigned videos about improved maize management practices in which male, female, or both male and female actors are featured. We first vary exposure to the videos by gender to test the effects of changes in intra-household information asymmetries, investigating whether involving women as recipients of information increases their ability to participate in household decision-making, and thus their involvement in household production choices. We then vary exposure to the gender of the actors in the videos to test for role-model effects, exploring whether involving women as information messengers challenges the idea that decision-making is a predominantly male domain, in turn affecting women’s outcomes. Results show that targeting women with information increases their knowledge about improved maize management practices, their role in agricultural decision-making, the adoption of recommended practices and inputs, production-related outcomes, and the quantity of maize women sell to the market. Results for the role-model effects are mixed, and are evident more in joint household outcomes than individual women’s outcomes. Overall, our findings suggest that in the context of our study, extension efforts aimed at directly addressing intra-household information asymmetries may be a first-best means of empowering women in agriculture. Other, more subtle means that seek to influence perceptions and norms about gendered roles in the household may not generate expected effects or work via expected impact pathways, though they remain worth further exploration.
    Keywords: UGANDA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, empowerment, gender, women, technology, Information and Communication Technologies (icts), maize, agricultural extension, digital technology, video-based extension,
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Jones,Patricia H.; Lartey,Emmanuel Kwasi Koranteng; Mengistae,Taye Alemu; Zeufack,Albert G.
    Abstract: This paper uses plant-level, panel data from the Ethiopian manufacturing census to estimate the effects of demand-side and supply-side factors on industrywide aggregate productivity. The paper focuses on the effects of three factors: (1) local market size, (2) the value of transportation costs that firms incur in selling to customers outside their market, and (3) licensing fees needed to enter the market. Identification is based on a model of production under monopolistic competition, which enables interpreting the estimated coefficients of a reduced form, dynamic productivity equation. The paper analyzes 11 industries in Ethiopia over 2000 to 2010. Several interesting results emerge. In the most parsimonious specification, the estimated coefficients are consistent with all three predictions of the model?but only for one industry: cinder blocks. In this industry, the expansion of the local market boosts industrywide total factor revenue productivity, while increases in transport costs and licensing fees reduce it. The picture is somewhat mixed in the other 10 industries but broadly consistent with the predictions of the model.
    Keywords: Transport Services,Food&Beverage Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,General Manufacturing,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,Common Carriers Industry,Construction Industry,International Trade and Trade Rules,Public Sector Administrative and Civil Service Reform,De Facto Governments,Democratic Government,Public Sector Administrative&Civil Service Reform,Administrative&Civil Service Reform,Information Technology
    Date: 2019–06–10

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