nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒04‒06
eight papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Digital data and management accounting: why we need to rethink research methods By Bhimani, Alnoor
  2. A sectoral anatomy of the spanish productivity puzzle By Pilar Cuadrado; Enrique Moral-Benito; Irune Solera
  3. Digital Trade in MENA : Regulatory Readiness Assessment By Daza Jaller,Lillyana Sophia; Molinuevo,Martin
  4. Global Software Piracy, Technology and Property Rights Institutions By Simplice A. Asongu
  5. Female Small Business Owners in China: discouraged, not discriminated By Mustafa Caglayan; Oleksandr Talavera; Lin Xiong
  6. The engineering tools that shaped the rational expectations revolution By M.J. Boumans
  7. Internet Job Search, Employment, and Wage Growth : Evidence from the Arab Republic of Egypt By El-Mallakh,Nelly
  8. Let's chat... When communication promotes efficiency in experimental asset markets: A Review By Brice Corgnet; Mark Desantis; David Porter

  1. By: Bhimani, Alnoor
    Abstract: Digitalisation is having profound effects on how enterprises function. Its impact on accounting research is growing as the rise of the internet, mobile technologies and digital economy tools generate depth, breadth and variety of data that far exceed what researchers have had access to in the past. But whilst social scientists interested in organisational issues are starting to question conventional methodological approaches to the study of contexts where digital data forms are drawn upon, little such concern has been voiced in the management accounting literature. This paper seeks to explore the continued applicability of conventional methodological thinking when carrying out investigations within digital data environments to inform management accounting studies. It considers why digitalisation impacts methodological precepts, identifies how descriptive and explanatory modes of questioning which management accountants have conventionally opted for need rethinking, discusses ways in which digital data characteristics alter what can be drawn from empirical studies, and points to the potential offered within digitalised settings for methodological advance. It concludes by highlighting the necessity, where digitalisation exists, to question modes of posing questions and to reconsider the applicability of methodological precepts deployed by management accounting researchers to date.
    Keywords: Digitalisation; methodology; empiricism; datafication
    JEL: M40
    Date: 2020–02–14
  2. By: Pilar Cuadrado (Banco de España); Enrique Moral-Benito (Banco de España); Irune Solera (Banco de España)
    Abstract: Income per capita in Spain relative to that of other advanced EU countries held stable at around 90% from 2000 to 2016. Stagnant abour productivity is at the root of this lack of convergence. This paper examines these developments from a sectoral perspective based on recently released EU KLEMS data. Our main findings are as follows: i) Spain has lower productivity levels vis-à-vis other EU countries in most sectors, with only 4 out of 23 sectors exhibiting higher productivity in Spain: accommodation and food services, agriculture, electricity and gas supply, and information and communication services; moreover, the allocation of employment towards low-productivity sectors accounts for half of the aggregate Spain-EU productivity gap in levels; ii) turning to the changes in the 2000-2016 period, the overall lack of convergence is driven by a divergence in productivity relative to EU countries, especially within services sectors; iii) while both ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and non-ICT capital in Spain converged towards European levels, Total Factor Productivity (TFP) divergence in most sectors explains the lack of convergence in labour productivity. Finally, we explore one potential explanation for this pattern: the TFP divergence and ICT capital convergence can be rationalised in the presence of complementarities between ICT-capital and labour force skills. Indeed, our industry-country regression analysis suggests that the dismal performance of Spanish TFP might be related to the significant deficit in the population’s skills as proxied by PIAAC-OECD scores.
    Keywords: labour productivity, Total Factor Productivity, productivity gap, labour force skills.
    JEL: D24 C23
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Daza Jaller,Lillyana Sophia; Molinuevo,Martin
    Abstract: A strong regulatory framework can provide essential tools for remote transactions and improve trust in digital trade. Yet, regulations can also introduce restrictions that hamper the conditions for digital markets. Based on a database of 20 Middle East and North Africa countries and 20 comparator countries around the world, this paper shows that the Middle East and North Africa region is falling behind in establishing a modern governance framework for the digital economy. The analysis focuses on a set of regulatory areas, including electronic documentation and signature, online consumer protection, data governance, cybersecurity, and intermediary liability regulations. It assesses each country's domestic regulatory framework in light of recent international trends and regulatory models. The study shows that regulation of digital markets in countries in the region is still in its infancy, being mostly governed by general laws that were not originally intended for the digital era. Some countries have tried to support an export-oriented information technology sector by keeping an updated regulatory framework. However, regulation in most countries in the region, regardless of their level of development, still features some major loopholes that can limit consumer trust in digital markets or reduce certainty -- and increase costs -- for digital businesses.
    Date: 2020–03–30
  4. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This study extends the literature on fighting software piracy by investigating how Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) regimes interact with technology to mitigate software piracy when existing levels of piracy are considered. Two technology metrics (internet penetration rate and number of PC users) and six IPRs mechanisms (constitution, IPR law, main IP laws, WIPO Treaties, bilateral treaties and multilateral treaties) are used in the empirical analysis. The statistical evidence is based on: (i) a panel of 99 countries for the period 1994-2010 and (ii) interactive contemporary and non-contemporary Quantile regressions.The findings show that the relevance of IPR channels in the fight against software piracy is noticeably contingent on the existing levels of technology embodied in the pirated software. There is a twofold policy interest for involving modern estimation techniques such as interactive Quantile regressions. First, it uncovers that the impact of IPR systems on software piracy may differ depending on the nature of technologies used. Second, the success of initiatives to combat software piracy is contingent on existing levels of the piracy problem. Therefore, policies should be designed differently across nations with high-, intermediate- and low-levels of software piracy.
    Keywords: Piracy; Business Software; Software piracy; Intellectual Property Rights
    JEL: F42 K42 O34 O38 O57
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Mustafa Caglayan (Heriot-Watt University); Oleksandr Talavera (University of Birmingham); Lin Xiong (Robert Gordon University)
    Abstract: Using a unique small business loan application dataset from a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital loan platform in China, we show that lenders do not discriminate against female business owners. However, female entrepreneurs are more likely to be discouraged from applying for funds after a failed attempt compared to their male counterparts. We also find that borrower discouragement is prominent among those from less developed regions or those who need finance for working capital. Although, digitization of financial markets has made external funding more accessible to small business owners, provision of better information on application process would help those who may be discouraged from posting a new funding application.
    Keywords: Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending; Small business owners, Gender discrimination, Discouraged borrowers, Repeat rejections, Fintech, Digitization, China
    JEL: G14 G32 M10
    Date: 2020–03
  6. By: M.J. Boumans
    Abstract: The rational expectations revolution was not only based on the introduction of Muth’s idea of rational expectations to macroeconomics; the introduction of Muth’s hypothesis cannot explain the more drastic change of the mathematical toolbox and concepts, research strategies, vocabulary, and questions since the 1980s. The main claim is that the shift from “Keynesian economics†to “new classical economics†is based on a shift from a control engineering approach to an information engineering methodology. The paper even shows that the “revolution†was more radical. The change of engineering tools has changed macroeconomics more deeply, not only its methodology but also its epistemology and ontology. To show this shift in epistemology and ontology, the history of economics will be interwoven with the history of mathematics which cannot be detangled from the emergence of the digital computer and the influence of this emergence on the changed nature of mathematics: the adoption of a new concept of solution, no longer a number, a formula, or a function, but an algorithm. The result of this new concept of solution was a new approach to the analysis of processes. Information engineering studies the fundamental limits in communication and finds its origins in Shannon’s theory of communication, and incorporates the tools designed by Turing, Shannon, Kálmán, and Bellman. The resulting ontology of this kind of engineering is a world populated by machines that communicate with each other by exchanging information. This information does not, however, contain only signals about the system states but also noise that needs to be filtered out. It is not a deterministic world, but one governed by stochastic processes. The decisions these machines take is conditioned on the (noisy) information they have about the current state of the world but at the same time will affect future states. Policy in this world therefore means tracing an optimal trajectory taking all these issues into account.
    Keywords: communication theory, control engineering, dynamic programming, information engineering, Kalman filter, rational expectations, Turing machine
    Date: 2019–12
  7. By: El-Mallakh,Nelly
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of Internet job search on employment in the Arab Republic of Egypt, the most populous country in the Middle East and North Africa region. Using panel data from the 2012 and 2018 rounds of the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey, the paper examines the impact of Internet job search by the unemployed on their employment prospects. It also examines the impact of Internet job search by employed job seekers on their wage growth, as well as the impact of digitalization at the workplace on earnings. Accounting for individual and geographical unobserved heterogeneity using panel data, the results suggest that Internet job search is an effective job search method, as it increases the probability that the unemployed -- and in particular unemployed men -- will find employment. Auxiliary placebo regressions confirm that preexisting trends in labor market outcomes are not driving the results. However, Internet job search by employed job seekers does not appear to have an impact on their wage growth, nor does digitalization at the workplace affect the wage growth of employed individuals.
    Date: 2020–03–26
  8. By: Brice Corgnet (emlyon business school, GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Mark Desantis (Chapman University); David Porter (Chapman University)
    Abstract: The growing prevalence of stock market chat rooms and social media suggests communication between traders may affect market outcomes. Using data from a series of laboratory experiments, we study the causal effect of trader communication on the price efficiency of markets. We show that communication allows markets to convey private information more effectively. This effect is most pronounced when the communication platform publicizes a reputation score that might identify a person as not being truthful. This illustrates the need for market designers to consider social interactions when designing market institutions to leverage the social motives that foster information aggregation. Abstract The growing prevalence of stock market chat rooms and social media suggests communication
    Keywords: Information aggregation,market efficiency,communication,experimental asset markets,social market design
    Date: 2020

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