nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒05‒25
ten papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Assessing the 'digital divide' and its regional determinants: Evidence from a web-scraping analysis By Thonipara, Anita; Sternberg, Rolf G.; Proeger, Till; Haefner, Lukas
  2. Steering Incentives of Platforms: Evidence from the Telecommunications Industry By Brian McManus; Aviv Nevo; Zachary Nolan; Jonathan W. Williams
  3. Creating opportunity from crisis: raising worker productivity during the pandemic By Bower, Jonathan
  4. The drivers of cyber risk By Iñaki Aldasoro; Leonardo Gambacorta; Paolo Giudici; Thomas Leach
  5. The Welfare Effects of Mobile Broadband Internet : Evidence from Nigeria By Bahia,Kalvin; Castells,Pau; Cruz,Genaro; Masaki,Takaaki; Pedros,Xavier; Pfutze,Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
  6. Capturing value amidst constant global restructuring? Information technology enabled services in India, the Philippines and Kenya By Mann, Laura; Kleibert, Jana Maria
  7. Nowcasting Economic Activity in Times of COVID-19 : An Approximation from the Google Community Mobility Report By Sampi Bravo,James Robert Ezequiel; Jooste,Charl
  8. Jobs'Amenability to Working from Home : Evidence from Skills Surveys for 53 Countries By Hatayama,Maho; Viollaz,Mariana; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
  9. Chinese stock market performance in the time of novel coronavirus pandemic By Liew, Venus Khim-Sen; Puah, Chin-Hong
  10. Household level health and socio-economic vulnerabilities and the COVID-19 crisis: An analysis from the UK By Mikolai, Julia; Keenan, Katherine; Kulu, Hill

  1. By: Thonipara, Anita; Sternberg, Rolf G.; Proeger, Till; Haefner, Lukas
    Abstract: Following the 'death of distance' postulate, digitization may reduce or even eliminate the penalty of firms being located in rural areas compared with those in urban agglomerations. Despite many recent attempts to measure digitization effects across space, there remains a lack of empirical evidence regarding the adoption of digital technologies from an explicit spatial perspective, i.e. comparing urban with rural areas. Using web-scraping data for a representative sample of 345,000 German firms, we analyze the determinants of homepage usage. Accordingly, we show that homepage usage - as a proxy for the degree of digitization of the respective firm - is highly dependent on location, whereby firms in urban areas are more than twice as likely to use webpages than those located in rural areas. Our county-level analysis shows that a high population density, young population, net gains in internal migration, high educational level and high firm-specific revenues have a positive and significant effect on the probability that firms conduct digital marketing using webpages. Access to broadband internet has a positive effect in rural areas. There are no differences between urban, suburban and rural areas in terms of webpage up-todateness as well as social media usage. We conclude that there is a substantial digital divide in online marketing and discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: digital divide,digitization,Germany,rural,Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises,urban,web-scraping
    JEL: D22 L22 L26
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Brian McManus; Aviv Nevo; Zachary Nolan; Jonathan W. Williams
    Abstract: We study the trade-offs faced by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that serve as platforms through which consumers access both television and internet services. As online streaming video improves, these providers may respond by attempting to steer consumers away from streaming video toward their own TV services, or by attempting to capture surplus from this improved internet content. We augment the standard mixed bundling model to demonstrate the trade-offs the ISP faces when dealing with streaming video, and we show how these trade-offs change with the pricing options available to the ISP. Next, we use unique household-level panel data and the introduction of usage-based pricing (UBP) in a subset of markets to measure consumers' responses and to evaluate quantitatively the ISP's trade-offs. We find that the introduction of UBP led consumers to upgrade their internet service plans and lower overall internet usage. Our findings suggest that while steering consumers towards TV services is possible, it is likely costly for the ISP and therefore unlikely to be profitable. This is especially true if the ISP can offer rich pricing menus that allow it to capture some of the surplus generated by a better internet service. The results suggest that policies like UBP can increase ISPs' incentive to maintain open access to new internet content.
    JEL: L11 L13 L96
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Bower, Jonathan
    Abstract: Rwanda’s coronavirus “lockdown”, which began on Sunday 22nd March 2020, requires that a large number of people suddenly work from home. This has become increasingly common globally: across the EU, around 17% of employees work from outside their employer’s physical premises using ICT tools; however, working from home (WFH) is a much newer phenomenon among white-collar workers in Rwanda. This brief focuses on the productivity impacts of this in light of international research.
    Keywords: coronavirus; Covid-19
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2020–03–27
  4. By: Iñaki Aldasoro; Leonardo Gambacorta; Paolo Giudici; Thomas Leach
    Abstract: Cyber incidents are becoming more sophisticated and their costs difficult to quantify. Using a unique database of more than 100,000 cyber events across sectors, we document the characteristics of cyber incidents. Cyber costs are higher for larger firms and for incidents that impact several organisations simultaneously. The financial sector is exposed to a larger number of cyber attacks but suffers lower costs, on average, thanks to proportionately greater investment in information technology (IT) security. The use of cloud services is associated with lower costs, especially when cyber incidents are relatively small. As cloud providers become systemically important, cloud dependence is likely to increase tail risks. Crypto-related activities, which are largely unregulated, are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.
    Keywords: cyber risk, cloud services, financial institutions, bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, cyber cost, cyber regulation
    JEL: D5 D62 D82 G2 H41
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Bahia,Kalvin; Castells,Pau; Cruz,Genaro; Masaki,Takaaki; Pedros,Xavier; Pfutze,Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impacts of mobile broadband coverage on household consumption and poverty in Nigeria, the largest economy and mobile broadband market in Africa. The analysis exploits a unique dataset that integrates three waves of a nationally representative longitudinal household survey on living standards with information from Nigerian mobile operators on the deployment of mobile broadband (3G and 4G) coverage between 2010 and 2016. The estimates show that mobile broadband coverage had large and positive impacts on household consumption levels which increased over time, although at a decreasing rate. Mobile broadband coverage also reduces the proportion of households below the poverty line, driven by higher food and non-food consumption in rural households. These effects are mainly due to an increase in labor force participation and employment, particularly among women.
    Date: 2020–05–05
  6. By: Mann, Laura; Kleibert, Jana Maria
    Abstract: Information-technology-enabled services (ITES) has become a sector of promise for many low- and middle-income economies seeking to leapfrog industrialization and build knowledge-intensive economies. Yet as a sector defined by accelerating processes of commodification and skill elimination, its long-term developmental promise must be carefully scrutinised. Analysing the development of the sector in India, the Philippines and Kenya the paper reveals both the contextual nature of past successful ITES policies and their developmental vulnerabilities. Drawing on literature on industrial policies and global value chains and production networks, the paper critiques the existing policy approaches by arguing that they are largely focussed on enabling value and employment creation and that they pay insufficient attention to questions of value capture and long-term socio-economic transformation.
    Keywords: ES/P009603/1
    JEL: R14 J01 N0
    Date: 2020–04–15
  7. By: Sampi Bravo,James Robert Ezequiel; Jooste,Charl
    Abstract: This paper proposes a leading indicator, the"Google Mobility Index,"for nowcasting monthly industrial production growth rates in selected economies in Latin America and the Caribbean. The index is constructed using the Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Report database via a Kalman filter. The Google database is publicly available starting from February 15, 2020. The paper uses a backcasting methodology to increase the historical number of observations and then augments a lag of one week in the mobility data with other high-frequency data (air quality) over January 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020. Finally, mixed data sampling regression is implemented for nowcasting industrial production growth rates. The Google Mobility Index is a good predictor of industrial production. The results suggest a significant decline in output of between 5 and 7 percent for March and April, respectively, while indicating a trough in output in mid-April.
    Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules,Health Care Services Industry,Pharmaceuticals Industry,ICT Policy and Strategies,ICT Legal and Regulatory Framework,Economic Conditions and Volatility
    Date: 2020–05–14
  8. By: Hatayama,Maho; Viollaz,Mariana; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
    Abstract: The spread of COVID-19 and implementation of"social distancing"policies around the world have raised the question of how many jobs can be done at home. This paper uses skills surveys from 53 countries at varying levels of economic development to estimate jobs'amenability to working from home. The paper considers jobs'characteristics and uses internet access at home as an important determinant of working from home. The findings indicate that the amenability of jobs to working from home increases with the level of economic development of the country. This is driven by jobs in poor countries being more intensive in physical/manual tasks, using less information and communications technology, and having poorer internet connectivity at home. Women, college graduates, and salaried and formal workers have jobs that are more amenable to working from home than the average worker. The opposite holds for workers in hotels and restaurants, construction, agriculture, and commerce. The paper finds that the crisis may exacerbate inequities between and within countries. It also finds that occupations explain less than half of the variability in the working-from-home indexes within countries, which highlights the importance of using individual-level data to assess jobs? amenability to working from home.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Social Development&Poverty,Social Protections&Assistance
    Date: 2020–05–11
  9. By: Liew, Venus Khim-Sen; Puah, Chin-Hong
    Abstract: This paper aims to quantify the effect of the deadly novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak on Chinese stock market performance. Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index and its component sectorial indices are examined in this study. The pandemic is represented by a lockdown dummy, new COVID-19 cases and a dummy for 3 February 2020. First, descriptive analysis is performed on these indices to compare their performances before and during the lockdown period. Next, regression analysis with Exponential Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity specification is estimated to quantify the pandemic effect on the Chinese stock market. This paper finds that health care, information technology and telecommunication services sectors were relatively more pandemic-resistant, while other sectors were more severely hurt by the pandemic outbreak. The extent to which each sector was affected by pandemic and sentiments in other financial and commodity markets were reported in details in this paper. The findings of this paper are resourceful for investors to avoid huge loss amid pandemic outburst and the China Securities Regulatory Commission in handling future pandemic occurrence to cool down excessive market sentiments.
    Keywords: Novel coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, pandemic, Chinese stock market, Exponential Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity
    JEL: G14 G15
    Date: 2020–04–01
  10. By: Mikolai, Julia; Keenan, Katherine; Kulu, Hill
    Abstract: Objectives. To investigate how COVID-19-related health and socio-economic vulnerabilities occur at the household level, and how they are distributed across household types and geographical areas in the United Kingdom. Design. Cross-sectional, nationally representative study. Setting. The United Kingdom. Participants. ~19,500 households. Main outcome measures. Using multiple household-level indicators and principal components analysis, we derive summary measures representing different dimensions of household vulnerabilities critical during the COVID-19 epidemic: health, employment, housing, financial and digital. Results. Our analysis highlights three key findings. First, although COVID-19 health risks are concentrated in retirement-age households, a substantial proportion of working age households also face these risks. Second, different types of households exhibit different vulnerabilities, with working-age households more likely to face financial, housing and employment precarities, and retirement-age households health and digital vulnerabilities. Third, there are area-level differences in the distribution of vulnerabilities across England and the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Conclusions. The findings imply that the short- and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis are likely to vary by household type. Policy measures that aim to mitigate the health and socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic should consider how vulnerabilities cluster together across different household types, and how these may exacerbate already existing inequalities.
    Date: 2020–04–30

This nep-ict issue is ©2020 by Marek Giebel. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.