nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒03‒30
eleven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Technology-Induced Trade Shocks? Evidence from Broadband Expansion in France By Clément Malgouyres; Thierry Mayer; Clément Mazet-Sonilhac
  2. Does the Internet Reduce Gender Gaps? : The Case of Jordan By Viollaz,Mariana; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
  3. Profit-sharing Rules and the Taxation of Multinational Internet Platforms By Francis Bloch; Gabrielle Demange
  4. Digital platform policy and regulation: towards a radical democratic turn By Cammaerts, Bart; Mansell, Robin
  5. There is Not One But Many AI: A Network Perspective on Regional Demand in AI Skills By Stephany, Fabian
  6. Patterns of innovation, advanced technology use and business practices in Canadian firms By Fernando Galindo-Rueda; Fabien Verger; Sylvain Ouellet
  7. A mobile revolution in sub-Saharan Africa? By Jean-Philippe Berrou; Kevin Mellet
  8. Financial Inclusion: Assessing Innovative Technology's impact on Financial Inclusion and Profitability of Financial Institutions in Cambodia By Seyha Khek; Phon Sophat; Vety Meng
  9. Information Technology and Returns to Scale By Danial Lashkari; Arthur Bauer; Jocelyn Boussard
  10. 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
  11. No gender please, we're central bankers: Distributional impacts of quantitative easing By Metzger, Martina; Young, Brigitte

  1. By: Clément Malgouyres; Thierry Mayer; Clément Mazet-Sonilhac
    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.
    Keywords: : Broadband Internet; Trade; Import; Consumer Welfare.
    JEL: F14 F15 F61 F66 L23 O33
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Viollaz,Mariana; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
    Abstract: This article investigates the link between digital technologies and female labor market outcomes in a country with one of the largest gender disparities. It exploits the massive roll-out of mobile broadband technology in Jordan between 2010 and 2016 to identify the effect of internet adoption on labor force participation. Using panel data at the individual level with rich information on labor market outcomes, internet use and gender-biased social norms, the article finds that internet adoption increases female labor force participation but has no effect on male labor force participation. The increase in online job search explains some -- but not all -- of the total increase in female labor force participation. Only older and skilled women experience an increase in employment in response to having internet access. The internet also reduces the prevalence of gender-biased social norms, early marriage and fertility.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Rural Labor Markets,Gender and Development,Educational Sciences,Information Technology
    Date: 2020–03–13
  3. By: Francis Bloch (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Gabrielle Demange (PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We analyze the strategy of a monopolistic Internet platform serving users from two jurisdictions with different corporate tax rates. We show that the platform exploits positive externalities across users to shift profit, and study the effects of a change in the corporate tax rate of one of the two jurisdictions. When externalities flow symmetrically among users in both jurisdictions, the platform increases quantities in the high tax jurisdiction and reduces quantities in the low tax jurisdiction. When externalities only flow from one jurisdiction to another, the platform's response depends on the direction of externalities. If externalities originate in the high tax jurisdiction, the platform increases quantities in the high tax jurisdiction ; if they originate in the low tax jurisdiction, the platform reduces quantities in the low tax jurisdiction. We contrast the baseline regime of separate accounting (SA) with a regime of Formula Apportionment (FA), where the tax bill is apportioned in proportion to the number of users in the two jurisdictions. Under FA, the platform always increases quantities in the lower-tax jurisdiction and decreases quantities in the higher-tax jurisdiction. We use a numerical simulation to show that the higher-tax jurisdiction prefers SA to FA whereas the lower-tax jurisdiction prefers FA to SA. JEL Classification Numbers: H32, H25, L12, L14.
    Keywords: Digital platforms,multinational firms,corporate income taxation,Formula Apportionment,separate accounting *
    Date: 2020–03–09
  4. By: Cammaerts, Bart; Mansell, Robin
    Abstract: This article considers challenges to policy and regulation presented by the dominant digital platforms. A radical democratic framing of the deliberative process is developed to acknowledge the full complexity of power relations that are in play in policy and regulatory debates and this view is contrasted with a liberal democratic perspective. We show how these different framings have informed historical and contemporary approaches to the challenges presented by conflicting interests in economic value and a range of public values in the context of media content, communication infrastructure and digital platform policy and regulation. We argue for an agonistic approach to digital platform policy and regulatory debate so as to encourage a denaturalization of the prevailing logics of commercial datafication. We offer some suggestions about how such a generative discourse might be encouraged in such a way that it starts to yield a new common sense about the further development of digital platforms; one that might favor a digital ecology better attuned to consumer and citizen interests in democratic societies.
    Keywords: digital platforms; media content; communication infrastructure; regulation; deliberation; radical democracy
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2020–01–01
  5. By: Stephany, Fabian
    Abstract: This work proposes a network perspective in order to empirically identify the relevant ICT skills related to AI, to what extent they are systemically related, and how their composition varies across regions. With the example of 5,227 job openings from Germany advertised as postings in Artificial Intelligence, relevant skills are identified and connected in a network fashion. Two skills are connected, if they are jointly required by the same job advertisement. Similarly, regional skill networks can be constructed: Job postings are screened by city location and skill networks are constructed for this set of regional postings exclusively. The resulting networks depict the regional city ecosystem of AI skills currently in demand.
    Date: 2020–03–02
  6. By: Fernando Galindo-Rueda (OECD); Fabien Verger (OECD); Sylvain Ouellet (Statistics Canada)
    Abstract: This paper uses a distributed microdata analysis approach to map patterns of technology adoption in Canadian firms, exploring the relationship between technology adoption, business practices and innovation. Prepared by the OECD NESTI secretariat in collaboration with Statistics Canada, the paper leverages a unique enterprise database combining information on innovation, technology adoption and the use of selected business practices. This work suggests a number of possible pathways for selecting and defining priority technology and business practices for data collection and reporting, implementing recommendations in the 2018 Oslo Manual on enablers and objectives of business innovation, and identifying potential synergies between business innovation, management and ICT, and other surveys focused on various aspects of technology adoption.
    Date: 2020–03–19
  7. By: Jean-Philippe Berrou (LAM - Les Afriques dans le monde - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Kevin Mellet (SENSE - Sociology and Economics of networks and Services - France Telecom R&D)
    Abstract: The rapid growth of mobile phones in Africa has generated widespread enthusiasm. This is evidenced by the reports and programmes of development aid institutions and by the recent creation of a "community" bringing together researchers, NGOs, donors and companies around new technologies for development (Information and Communication Technologies for Development or ICTD). In the first article of this issue of Réseaux devoted to recent research on the use of mobile technologies in sub-Saharan Africa, we review the situation. Has the mobile kept its promises? What do we know about its actual uses in sub-Saharan Africa? The article reports on a significant gap between the promises of international programmes or economic forecasts, and the reality of practices and usage. It presents the articles in the special issue, which highlight the importance of mobile phones in the daily lives of populations, as well as the plurality and complexity of the actual take up of this technology and its significance for the continent.
    Abstract: L'essor du mobile en Afrique a suscité un enthousiasme fort, dont témoignent tant les rapports et programmes des institutions de l'aide au développement, que la constitution récente d'une « communauté » rassemblant chercheurs, ONG, bailleurs et entreprises autour des nouvelles technologies pour le développement (Information and communication technologies for development ou ICTD). En ouverture de ce numéro qui rassemble des recherches récentes sur les usages des technologies mobiles en Afrique subsaharienne, nous proposons un état des lieux. Le mobile a-t-il tenu ses promesses ? Que sait-on de ses usages concrets en Afrique subsaharienne ? L'article rend compte d'un décalage important entre les promesses des programmes internationaux ou des prévisions économiques, et la réalité des pratiques et des usages. Il introduit les articles du dossier qui mettent en évidence tant l'importance qu'occupe le téléphone mobile dans le quotidien des populations, que la pluralité, et la complexité, des modalités d'appropriations effectives et des enjeux qu'il soulève pour le continent.
    Keywords: usages,analyses d'impact,ICTD,Mobile,Afrique subsaharienne,Nouvelles technologies pour le développement
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Seyha Khek; Phon Sophat (National Bank of Cambodia); Vety Meng
    Abstract: This study aims to determine how Information Technology (IT) impacts financial inclusion and strengthens the profit of commercial banks and MDIs in Cambodia using two-stage value chain DEA technique. The model also provides the efficiency score and approached factors within financial inclusion and profitability mechanism. The finding suggests that financial inclusion is backed up by strong significant technology while profitability is anchored at 76.5 percent of total banks' profits. Furthermore, through the usage of IT-based transactions at 32 percent, banks and financial institution could enhance 28 percent of profit, and 78 percent of ATMs has been used to promote the access and financial usage. From these results, improving institutional IT adoption could increase financial inclusion and achieves the profit efficiency.
    Keywords: Financial inclusion,Profitability,Technology,two-stage Value Chain DEA
    Date: 2020–03–03
  9. By: Danial Lashkari; Arthur Bauer; Jocelyn Boussard
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of IT in shaping recent trends in market concentration, factor income shares, and market competition. Relying on a novel dataset on hardware and software investments in the universe of French firms, we document a robust within-industry correlation between firm size and the intensity of IT demand. To explain this fact, we argue that the relative marginal product of IT inputs may rise with firm scale, since IT specifically helps firms deal with organizational limits to scale. We propose a general equilibrium model of industry dynamics that features firm-level production functions compatible with this mechanism. We estimate the production function and find evidence for the nonhomotheticity of IT demand and for an elasticity of substitution between IT and other inputs that falls below unity. Under the estimated model parameters, the cross-sectional predictions of the model match the observed relationship of firm size with IT intensity (positive) and labor share (negative). In addition, as a response to the fall in the relative price of IT inputs in post-1990 France, the model can explain about half of both the observed rise in market concentration and the observed market reallocation toward low-labor-share-firms.
    Keywords: : Information Technology, Labor Share, Competition, Production Function, Nonhomotheticity.
    JEL: E10 E23 E25
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Lecoutere, Els; Spielman, David J.; Van Campenhout, Bjorn
    Abstract: Women often have less access to agricultural information than men, constraining their participation in decision-making on crops, technologies, and practices. In the design of agricultural extension programs, women may be viewed as insignificant actors in agricultural production. Moreover, even if their role is recognized, valuable information on production does not flow freely within the household from men to women. Among groups of maize-farming households in eastern Uganda, we explore the impacts on women’s empowerment from the use of gender-responsive information and communication technologies to provide extension services, specifically videos that feature women as information providers. The research tests the relative impact of the videos, contrasting their informational effects versus their role model effects, on women’s knowledge, their agency, and their achievements in farming. The results show that targeting women with information increases their achievements in farming.
    Keywords: UGANDA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, empowerment, gender, women, agricultural extension, information, decision making, agricultural extension, maize, rural areas, digitalization, agricultural information, agricultural extension services, maize-farming households
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Metzger, Martina; Young, Brigitte
    Abstract: This paper first explores the role of digital financial services, e.g. mobile money systems and cryptocurrency-based systems, and their impact on the choice of migrants to send remittances. Secondly we discuss whether alternative remittances sending channels increase access to financial services for remittance-sending and remittance-receiving households. Africa, and in particularly Kenya, arepioneers in alternative money transfer systems and of tailor-made regulatory initiatives to address digital financial services. Thus,our paper focuses on the technologies of the Kenyan mobile money system, M-Pesa, and the major cryptocurrency, Bitcoin,and based on that takes into account selected experiences of other Sub-Saharan African countries. We find that in comparison to traditional remittances sending channels, mobile money transfer channels are often superior in terms of service-related features as costs of transfers for sending and receiving households, speed of delivery, availability and access to the remittances by receiving households or security of transactions. More importantly,mobile cash systems can fulfil the SDG goal of the 3 per cent fee more than 10 years earlier than envisaged in 2030. On the other side, the choice to use a specific transfer channel might be restricted by the lack of physical and technological availability of providers and means, and technological illiteracy. In addition, sending and receiving households might be cautious to use mobile cash system due to a lack of trust in the system, the providersor regulatory authorities. Accordingly, financial inclusion beyond e-payments and outreach to the poor is not an automatism. In contrast, the use of Bitcoin-based transfer systems is more ambivalent; these systems are technically more challenging both in terms of infrastructure and literacy and more vulnerable to fraud. Some findings also indicate that Bitcoin is anincompleteand inferior substitute to which migrants refer to if their first option is not available or suffers from severe deficiencies. Future research also needs to differentiate sending and receiving households stronger according to personal features in order todeepen our understanding about the choices of and restrictions of vulnerable groups who would benefit the most from using mobile cash systems.
    Keywords: Remittances,Financial Inclusion,Bitcoin,Alternative Money,Financial Technology,Africa,Mobile Cash
    JEL: F24 G23 G28 O16 O19
    Date: 2020

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