nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒05‒18
four papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. The use of ICT tools in the communication between students and academic teachers By Ewa Pralat
  2. ICT Adoption, Competition and Innovation of Informal Firms in West Africa: Comparative Study of Ghana and Nigeria By Alhassan A. Karakara; Evans S. Osabuohien
  3. Digitising Agrifood: Pathways and Challenges By Renda, Andrea; Reynolds, Nicole; Laurer, Moritz; Cohen, Gal
  4. Software vulnerabilities and bug bounty programs By Bienz, Carsten; Juranek, Steffen

  1. By: Ewa Pralat
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine the available possibilities of using ICT in the communication between students and academic teachers, together with assessing the usage rate of individual solutions. Communication here means not only as an exchange of information, but also as access to important announcements or learning resources (uploaded to various types of websites). To that end, content of various websites (academic teachers websites, department and faculty websites) was analyzed using the example of a single faculty of the Wrocław University of Science and Technology; that analysis was coupled with a survey run among the students of that faculty, aimed at learning their preferences as to how to maintain communication with the teachers, their opinions on particular tools and the usage rate of individual solutions.
    Keywords: Communication tool; University; Website content
    JEL: I25 L86 O33
    Date: 2020–05–05
  2. By: Alhassan A. Karakara (University of Cape Coast, Ghana); Evans S. Osabuohien (CEPDeR, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Purpose – This study investigates how ICT adoption enhances the innovativeness of informal firms in West Africa, using the cases of Ghana and Nigeria. Design/methods/approach – The study used the World Bank Enterprise Survey data 2014 for Ghana and Nigeria with binary logistic regression analysis to achieve this. Four different innovations are modelled. They include: first, whether a firm has innovated based on producing a new product or significantly improved product; second, whether a firm has innovated in its methods of production or services; third, whether a firm has innovated in terms of its organisational structure; and fourth, whether a firm has introduced a new and improved marketing method. Findings – The results show that the use of email, cellphone and website has a positive impact on the four types of innovations modelled. However, these effects varied markedly between Ghana and Nigeria. Firms’ spending on R&D, firm giving its employees the chance to develop their ideas and when firm competes with others; all positively impact on the four types of innovations. Thus, the study recommends that policies should be geared towards making firm have more access to ICTs to enable them to be more innovative to serve clients and the economy. Originality/value – This study differs by concentrating on how the adoption of ICTs could help firms to introduce innovations into their companies in two West African countries, namely: Ghana and Nigeria. Thus, it complements literature on informal firms’ innovation efforts in West Africa.
    Keywords: Firms, ICT adoption, Innovation, West Africa, World Bank Enterprise Survey data, Ghana, Nigeria
    JEL: D21 L60 L80 O14 O30
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Renda, Andrea; Reynolds, Nicole; Laurer, Moritz; Cohen, Gal
    Abstract: As climate change increasingly poses an existential risk for the Earth, scientists and policymakers turn to agriculture and food as areas for urgent and bold action, which need to return within acceptable Planet Boundaries. The links between agriculture, biodiversity and climate change have become so evident that scientists propose a Great Food Transformation towards a healthy diet by 2050 as a major way to save the planet. Achieving these milestones, however, is not easy, both based on current indicators and on the gloomy state of global dialogue in this domain. This is why digital technologies such as wireless connectivity, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and blockchain can and should come to the rescue. This report looks at the many ways in which digital solutions can be implemented on the ground to help the agrifood chain transform itself to achieve more sustainability. Together with the solution, we identify obstacles, challenges, gaps and possible policy recommendations. Action items are addressed at the European Union both as an actor of change at home, and in global governance, and are spread across ten areas, from boosting connectivity and data governance to actions aimed at empowering small farmers and end users.
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Bienz, Carsten (Dept. of Finance, Norwegian School of Economics); Juranek, Steffen (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: Many software developers employ bug bounty programs that award a prize for the detection of bugs in their software. We analyze, in a model with asymmetric information, under which conditions a bug bounty program is beneficial for a software developer. In our model, a bug bounty program allows developers to perfectly discriminate between different types of bugs, and help to avoid reputation costs of exploited bugs. We find that the benefits of bounty program do not only depend on the characteristics of the underlying software but also that a bounty program crucially interacts with other elements of the security strategy.
    Keywords: Bug bounty program; software security; information technology security; software vulnerability
    JEL: D82 L86 M15 M20
    Date: 2020–05–12

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