nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒04‒13
fourteen papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Inequality and Gender Inclusion: Minimum ICT Policy Thresholds for Promoting Female Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo
  2. The Role of ICT and Financial Development on CO2 Emissions and Economic Growth By Ibrahim D. Raheem; Aviral K. Tiwari; Daniel Balsalobre-lorente
  3. Isolating the "Tech" from EdTech: Experimental Evidence on Computer Assisted Learning in China By Ma, Yue; Fairlie, Robert W.; Loyalka, Prashant; Rozelle, Scott
  4. Should digital marketing practices be more transparent? An empirical investigation on the roles of consumer digital literacy and privacy concerns in self-service technologies By Audrey Portes; Gilles N'goala; Anne-Sophie Cases
  5. Global Software Piracy, Technology and Property Rights Institutions By Simplice A. Asongu
  6. Building Knowledge-Based Economies in Africa: A Systematic Review of Policies and Strategies By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo
  7. The role of ICT in modulating the effect of education and lifelong learning on income inequality and economic growth in Africa By Vanessa S. Tchamyou; Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo
  8. Charting the digital transformation of science: Findings from the 2018 OECD International Survey of Scientific Authors (ISSA2) By Michela Bello; Fernando Galindo-Rueda
  9. Analyzing the Online Advertising Market from the Perspective of Competition Policy (Japanese) By KAWAHAMA Noboru; TAKEDA Kuninobu
  10. Digitalization and New Product Development in Manufacturing SMEs: A Comparative Study of Germany and Japan By MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki; Christian RAMMER
  11. Contributions of Corporate Basic Research and Research Collaboration with Academia to Innovation and Spillover Performance in Japan (Japanese) By NAGAOKA Sadao; EDAMURA Kazuma; ONISHI Koichiro; TSUKADA Naotoshi; NAITO Yusuke; KADOWAKI Ryo
  12. Trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) in education: Promises and challenges By Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin; Reyer van der Vlies
  13. Mismatch between Demand and Supply among higher education graduates in the EU By BIAGI Federico; CASTANO MUNOZ Jonatan; DI PIETRO Giorgio
  14. Are U.S. industries resilient in dealing with trade uncertainty ? The case of U.S.-China trade war By Refk Selmi; Youssef Errami; Mark Wohar

  1. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: The study assesses how ICT modulates the effect of inequality on female economic participation in a panel of 42 countries in sub-Saharan Africa over the period 2004-2014. Three inequality indicators are used, namely: the Gini coefficient, the Atkinson index and the Palma ratio. The adopted ICT indicators are mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and fixed broadband subscriptions. Three gender economic inclusion indicators are also used for the analysis, namely: female labour force participation, female unemployment and female employment. The Generalised Method of Moments is employed as empirical strategy. The findings show that enhancing ICT beyond certain thresholds is necessary for ICT to mitigate inequality in order to enhance gender economic participation. First, for female labour force participation, a minimum threshold of 165.714 mobile phone penetration per 100 people is required for the Palma ratio. Second, minimum ICT thresholds for the reduction of female unemployment are: (i) 87.783, 107.486 and 152.500 mobile phone penetration per 100 people for respectively, the Gini coefficient, the Atkinson index and the Palma ratio; (ii) 39.618 internet penetration per 100 people for the Atkinson index and (iii) 4.500 fixed broadband subscriptions for the Palma ratio. Third, the corresponding ICT thresholds for the promotion of female employment are: (i) 120.369 and 85.533 mobile phone penetration per 100 people for respectively, the Gini coefficient and the Atkinson index and (ii) 30.005 internet penetration per 100 people for the Gini coefficient. The established thresholds make economic sense and can be feasibly implemented by policy makers in order to induce favourable effects on gender economic inclusion dynamics.
    Keywords: Africa; ICT; Gender; Inclusive development
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Ibrahim D. Raheem (EXCAS, Liège, Belgium); Aviral K. Tiwari (Kochi, India); Daniel Balsalobre-lorente (Ciudad Real, Spain)
    Abstract: This study explores the role of the information and communication Technology (ICT) and financial development (FD) on both carbon emissions and economic growth for the G7 countries for the period 1990-2014. Using PMG, we found that ICT has a long run positive effect on emissions, while FD is a weak determinant. The interactive term between the ICT and FD produces negative coefficients. Also, both variables are found to impact negatively on economic growth. However, their interactions show they have mixed effects on economic growth (i.e., positive in the short-run and negative in the long-run). Policy implications were designed based on these results.
    Keywords: ICT; Financial development; Carbon emissions; Economic growth and G7 countries
    JEL: E23 F21 F30 O16
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Ma, Yue (City University of Hong Kong); Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz); Loyalka, Prashant (Stanford University); Rozelle, Scott (Stanford University)
    Abstract: EdTech which includes online education, computer assisted learning (CAL), and remote instruction was expanding rapidly even before the current full-scale substitution for in-person learning at all levels of education around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. Studies of CAL interventions have consistently found large positive effects, bolstering arguments for the widespread use of EdTech. However CAL programs, often held after school, provide not only computer-based instruction, but often additional non-technology based inputs such as more time on learning and instructional support by facilitators. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model to carefully explore the possible channels by which CAL programs might affect academic outcomes among schoolchildren. We isolate and test the technology-based effects of CAL and additional parameters from the theoretical model, by designing a novel multi-treatment field experiment with more than four thousand schoolchildren in rural China. Although we find evidence of positive overall CAL program effects on academic outcomes, when we isolate the technology-based effect of CAL (over and above traditional pencil-and-paper learning) we generally find small to null effects. Our empirical results suggest that, at times, the "Tech" in EdTech may have relatively small effects on academic outcomes, which has important implications for the continued, rapid expansion of technologies such as CAL throughout the world.
    Keywords: computer-assisted learning, EdTech, ICT, pencil effects, student learning, educational productivity, RCT
    JEL: I21 O15
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Audrey Portes (CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - UTLN - Université de Toulon); Gilles N'goala (MRM - Montpellier Research in Management - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UM3 - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - UM2 - Université Montpellier 2 - Sciences et Techniques - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School - UM - Université de Montpellier); Anne-Sophie Cases (MRM - Montpellier Research in Management - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UM3 - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - UM2 - Université Montpellier 2 - Sciences et Techniques - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School - UM - Université de Montpellier)
    Abstract: The growth of self-service technologies has led to an increasing demand for transparency. More and more services are delivered online and require that, in this information asymmetry situation, customers overcome their lack of technical knowledge and risks associated with their personal data disclosure and dissemination. This article proposes a three dimensional conceptualization of digital transparency (objectivity, limpidity, openness) and examines how customer's digital literacy and privacy concerns influence the way they perceive their provider's transparency and, indirectly, their engagement to their provider. Based on an empirical research study in e-commerce (N=445), this research demonstrates the differential effects of objective and subjective digital literacies on perceived transparency and examines how customers' privacy concerns lower each dimension of perceived transparency. Finally, since each dimension of perceived transparency actually influence customer engagement, this paper urges firms to pay a specific attention to customer segments with a lower digital literacy and a higher concern for privacy.
    Keywords: transparency,digital literacy,customer engagement,privacy concerns
    Date: 2020–06–02
  5. 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
  6. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: Compared to other regions of the world, Africa is lagging in its drive toward knowledge-based economies. This study systematically reviews the literature in order to highlight the policies and strategies with which African countries can accelerate their current drive towards building knowledge-based economies. These are discussed in terms of three pillars of the World Bank’s knowledge economy framework. They are the indices for: (i) education and skilled population, (ii) information and communication technology and (iii) economic incentives and institutional regime.
    Keywords: Knowledge economy; Development; Africa
    JEL: O10 O30 O38 O55 O57
    Date: 2019–01
  7. By: Vanessa S. Tchamyou (Yaounde, Cameroon); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    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
    JEL: I28 I20 I30 L96 O55
    Date: 2019–01
  8. By: Michela Bello; Fernando Galindo-Rueda
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of the 2018 OECD International Survey of Scientific Authors (ISSA2), a global online survey designed and implemented to measure the key features of the digital transformation of science. The paper explores the potential impacts of digitalisation based on a combination of different indicators on research impact and responses from nearly 12 000 authors across the world. The evidence shows that although digital activity is pervasive, the transformation is uneven across fields and sectors, and is influenced by factors such as norms, experience, skills and data availability. Overall, scientists appear to be optimistic about the potential of digitalisation, especially in relation to the efficiency of research and collaboration across national borders. This paper is also the first analysis to leverage a new OECD approach to data collection in priority science policy topics for which evidence might be scarce or insufficiently timely.
    Date: 2020–04–09
  9. By: KAWAHAMA Noboru; TAKEDA Kuninobu
    Abstract: Mega platform operators are active in the advertising market. They make use of that profit to provide new services to consumers. In that respect, online advertising is at the core of the Internet ecosystem. Today many competition authorities are carrying out sector inquiries on this topic. There is one common concern they share is lack of transparency in the online advertising market, especially in the programmatic display advertising market. This paper classifies ad tech markets in order to analyze the advertising industry from the perspective of competition policy and sorts essential issues from the practices and discussions in foreign countries. Significant results of this study are as follows. First, competitive advantage in the advertising market is determined by ad tech, data, and advertisement inventory. Google seems to control all of these. Second, the publisher-side ad servers are considered a bottleneck for competition among ad exchanges. Third, sequential auctions carried out by Google create arbitrage opportunities for Google. These insights have implications for public policy and enforcement of competition law in Japan.
    Date: 2020–02
  10. By: MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki; Christian RAMMER
    Abstract: This report presented descriptive results of a novel survey on IT practices in the context of new product development (NPD) in German and Japanese manufacturing SMEs. Based on dedicated questionnaire-based surveys in both countries, the report demonstrated that there are a number of commonalities between German and Japanese SMEs. It is found that German firms are more advanced in use of digital applications, while Japanese firms are more likely to be involved in collaboration for NPD. However, this difference disappears when the business environment faced by both samples is controlled. In terms of business performance impacts of digitalization and NPD process, a complementarity between them regarding specific business partners (supplier or customer firms) is found in Japan, while digital applications with multiple users is positively correlated with business performance in Germany.
    Date: 2020–03
  11. By: NAGAOKA Sadao; EDAMURA Kazuma; ONISHI Koichiro; TSUKADA Naotoshi; NAITO Yusuke; KADOWAKI Ryo
    Abstract: Corporate basic research is important for both enhancing the R&D capability of a firm, especially in its ability to absorb scientific progress, and for improving the innovation performance of the industry through spillovers. This paper reports the findings from the following four research inquiries, all based on newly built, long-term comprehensive panel data set on the structure and performance of R&D by Japanese companies. (1) An analysis of the contributions of internal basic research to industrial R&D performance, including its collaborative research with academia and its research commissioned by the government, based on a new model of R&D that accommodates the effect of basic research on enhancing the productivity of applied research and experimental development. (2) An analysis of the evolution of the effects of R&D in information and communication technology (ICT) on industrial R&D performance. While ICT R&D has increased its significance globally in recent years, ICT R&D investment by Japanese industry had decreased to about two-thirds of its peak value in 2007. (3) An analysis of how technology spillover between firms varies, depending on the structure of R&D of the utilizing and the source companies, the proximity between the two firms in terms of specialized fields of human resources, and industry configurations (within industry vs. between industry). (4) Finally, an analysis of how the effects of the spillover pool of each firm on its R&D are affected by the interaction between the type of spillover pools and the type of R&D investment of each firm. Based on these results, this paper demonstrates potential implications for policy.
    Date: 2020–01
  12. By: Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin (OECD); Reyer van der Vlies (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper was written to support the G20 artificial intelligence (AI) dialogue. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), education faces two challenges: reaping the benefits of AI to improve education processes, both in the classroom and at the system level; and preparing students for new skillsets for increasingly automated economies and societies. AI applications are often still nascent, but there are many examples of promising uses that foreshadow how AI might transform education. With regard to the classroom, this paper highlights how AI can accelerate personalised learning, the support of students with special needs. At the system level, promising uses include predictive analysis to reduce dropout, and assessing new skillsets. A new demand for complex skills that are less easy to automate (e.g. higher cognitive skills like creativity and critical thinking) is also the consequence of AI and digitalisation. Reaching the full potential of AI requires that stakeholders trust not only the technology, but also its use by humans. This raises new policy challenges around “trustworthy AI”, encompassing the privacy and security of data, but also possible wrongful uses of data leading to biases against individuals or groups.
    Date: 2020–04–08
  13. By: BIAGI Federico (European Commission - JRC); CASTANO MUNOZ Jonatan (European Commission - JRC); DI PIETRO Giorgio (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The misalignment between demand and supply contributes to the labour market problems experienced by many recent graduates in Europe. Not only does the growth in the number of recent university graduates differ from the growth in job vacancies potentially available for them, but also a large number of individuals end up completing their tertiary degree in subjects for which there is little demand or for which there is an excess of supply relative to demand. In an attempt to investigate whether the EU is expected to generate the appropriate number and type of graduates, this study compares projections on forecasted graduate labour market development tendencies made by Cedefop between 2016 and 2030 with estimated trends in the supply of tertiary graduates during the same period. The analysis predicts that, while a rough balance between graduate demand and supply is likely to emerge at aggregate level, there will be a small surplus of graduates in the fields of ICT and a more relevant one in Science and Engineering. Results, however, significantly differ across individual EU Member States.
    Keywords: Mismatch, demand and supply of graduates
    Date: 2020–03
  14. By: Refk Selmi (IRMAPE - Institut de Recherche en Management et Pays Emergents - ESC Pau, ESC Pau); Youssef Errami (ESC Pau, IRMAPE - Institut de Recherche en Management et Pays Emergents - ESC Pau); Mark Wohar (University of Nebraska [Omaha] - University of Nebraska System)
    Abstract: For decades, the two economic superpowers-the U.S and China-have been integrated. But the U.S. administration under Trump presidency is now attempting to undo that, as a deepening trade rift with China affect businesses in both economies. In July, August and September 2018, the United States successively increased tariffs on a total of $250 billion in annual imports of Chinese goods, stating that it wished to safeguard U.S. companies from unfair Chinese practices and lessen the bilateral trade deficit. China responded with tariffs on $110 billion of imports from the United States. The trade tensions between the two economic superpowers have led to a significant and rapid reduction in bilateral trade in taxed goods. This paper seeks to examine the heightened uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China trade war to shed some light on the reactions of sectoral U.S. stock market to China tariff threats. While all sectors face increasing uncertainty, this trade war had varying sectoral effect. Specifically, the responses of information technology, industrials and energy were even more severe than the reactions of financials, consumer discretionary and staples, healthcare, real estate, aerospace and defense and utilities. Such positioning is designed to create a portfolio with balanced exposure to certain sectors for offense (information technology and industrials) and others for defense (healthcare, real estate and utilities).
    Keywords: US-China trade war,Tariffs,US stock market,Sectoral level analysis
    Date: 2020

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