nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒06‒08
eight papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. The Contribution of Cohesion Policy to Digitalisation: an Adequate Approach? By Julie Pellegrin; Louis Colnot
  2. Information technologies and entrepreneurship By Julien Hanoteau; Jean‐jacques Rosa
  3. The Welfare Effects of Mobile Broadband Internet: Evidence from Nigeria By Bahia, Kalvin; Castells, Pau; Cruz, Genaro; Masaki, Takaaki; Pedrós, Xavier; Pfutze, Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos; Winkler, Hernan
  4. Improving Market Performance in the Digital Economy By Chen, Yongmin
  5. ICT and Bank Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Dynamic Panel Analysis By Agu, Chinonso .V.; Aguegboh, Ekene .S.
  6. Jobs’ Amenability to Working from Home: Evidence from Skills Surveys for 53 Countries By Maho Hatayama; Mariana Viollaz; Hernan Winkler
  7. Task specialization in U.S. cities from 1880-2000 By Michaels, Guy; Rauch, Ferdinand; Redding, Stephen
  8. Internet – Platforms – Regulation: Coordination of Markets and Curation of Sociality By Dolata, Ulrich

  1. By: Julie Pellegrin (CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies); Louis Colnot (CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies)
    Abstract: Academics and policy-makers see digital technologies as a significant driver of growth and innovation, capable of triggering radical transformations in both businesses’ operations and citizens’ life and welfare. Their potential is therefore deemed considerable, yet challenging to assess with certainty. The EU has been a pioneer institution in promoting the digitalisation of its economy. Its main ambition is to harness the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for growth and well-being. Its long-lasting support has been delivered through different types of interventions, including regulation and funding. It is critical as the successful development of ICT requires a mixture of top-down (e.g., regulatory framework, broadband networks…) and bottom-up (e.g., demand for digital services by citizens…) initiatives. Despite these efforts, the EU economy is generally considered as remaining below its digitalisation potential. Additionally, large disparities in digitalisation performance are observed both within and between the Member States. This situation prevents the EU from reaping the full benefits linked to ICT. In that context, the regional level is fundamental to address the challenges arising from digitalisation. Indeed, it can help to articulate both bottom-up and top-down initiatives in a way that is consistent with the specific strengths and issues of territories, i.e., in a place-based manner. In particular, EU Cohesion Policy has supported digitalisation for several programming periods, combining a prominent funding mechanism with a relevant territorial approach. Based on a series of case studies and a review of secondary sources, this paper aims at assessing how the 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy framework contributes to the adequate formulation and delivery of regional digital strategies. The analysis suggests that the Cohesion Policy’s ability to steer the development of regional digital strategies is done through specific incentives (e.g., funding concentration, holistic approach). Its contribution also stems from its attention to the development of partnerships and stakeholders’ involvement around specific territorial issues both during the formulation of regional digital strategies and during their delivery on the ground. However, there are some limits to its contribution, e.g. regarding the synergies between EU funding instruments for digital interventions. Further research is needed to ensure the generalisation of findings and estimate the causal role of Cohesion Policy’s framework.
    Keywords: Cohesion Policy, ICT, digitalisation, regional digital strategies
    JEL: H7 O18 O38 R58 Z18
    Date: 2020–05–01
  2. By: Julien Hanoteau (KEDGE Business School [Marseille], AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Jean‐jacques Rosa (Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Paris)
    Abstract: This article shows how the increase of information availability due to new technologies positively affects aggregate entrepreneurship in national economies. We rely on an "occupational choice" model of managerial production, extended to include the managerial use of information, to explain variations in the number of entrepreneurs, and thus of firms, as measured by the aggregate new business creation data. We present evidence that supports such a theory of industrial organization dynamics for a sample of 78 economies over the period 2004–2012 using panel data instrumental variable regressions.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship,Information and communication technologies,Managerial information,Industrial organization
    Date: 2019–01–07
  3. By: Bahia, Kalvin (GSMA); Castells, Pau (GSMA); Cruz, Genaro (GSMA); Masaki, Takaaki (World Bank); Pedrós, Xavier (GSMA); Pfutze, Tobias (Florida International University); Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos (World Bank); Winkler, Hernan (World Bank)
    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.
    Keywords: poverty, household consumption, mobile broadband, Africa, Nigeria
    JEL: D12 F63 I31 L86 O12
    Date: 2020–05
  4. By: Chen, Yongmin
    Abstract: The digital economy has substantially reduced market frictions but also posed new challenges for the efficient functioning of markets. In particular, the drastic reductions in the costs of search, entry, transportation, and reproduction have profound implications for the role of platforms, the value of innovation, and the balance between firms' data needs and consumer privacy. I review some recent economic research that sheds light on these issues, and discuss how well-designed policies on competition, regulation, IP protection, and consumer privacy can improve market performance in the digital economy.
    Keywords: Digital economy, digitization, platforms, search, innovation, data protection, privacy
    JEL: D2 D8 L8 L86 O3
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: Agu, Chinonso .V.; Aguegboh, Ekene .S.
    Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on bank performance in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) banking industry. The data set entails panel data for 35 Sub-Saharan African countries and we employ the system generalized method of moment (GMM) estimation technique for dynamic panel models. ICT variables understudied include: number of automated teller machines (ATMs), ATMs per 100,000 adults, ATM per 1,000 km2 and mobile money transaction; while bank performance was proxied using returns on assets (ROA), returns on earning (ROE), and net interest margin (NIM). The result reveals that ICT is negatively associated with bank performance except for ATMs per 100,000 adults and ATM per 1,000km2, which had positive impact on ROE and NIM. The findings suggest that ICT largely affects bank performance in the short run; in long run these investments become very beneficial to improving bank performance.
    Keywords: ICT, bank performance, return on assets, return on equity, net interest margin
    JEL: E44 G20 O31
    Date: 2020–05–13
  6. By: Maho Hatayama (The World Bank); Mariana Viollaz (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP); Hernan Winkler (The World Bank)
    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.
    JEL: J22 J61 O30
    Date: 2020–05
  7. By: Michaels, Guy; Rauch, Ferdinand; Redding, Stephen
    Abstract: We develop a new methodology for quantifying the tasks undertaken within occupations using over 3,000 verbs from more than 12,000 occupational descriptions in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOTs). Using micro-data from the United States from 1880-2000, we find an increase in the employment share of interactive occupations within sectors over time that is larger in metro areas than non-metro areas. We interpret these findings using a model in which reductions in transport and communication costs induce urban areas to specialize according to their comparative advantage in interactive tasks. We presenting suggestive evidence relating increases in employment in interactive occupations to improvements in transport and communication technologies. Our findings highlight a change in the nature of agglomeration over time towards an increased emphasis on human interaction.
    Keywords: economic development; human interaction; urbanization
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–06–01
  8. By: Dolata, Ulrich
    Abstract: The leading Internet groups, with their extensively networked platforms, have become the key players in the design and regulatory framing of the Internet in the course of the 2010s. This paper examines the mechanisms by which they fulfil their role as structurebuilding, rule-making and action-coordinating core actors in today's Web. The focus is on two essential regulatory areas: on the one hand, the private-sector organization and regulation of markets, in which they themselves, as platform operators, coordinate market processes and determine the conditions of competition; on the other hand, the tech- nically mediated structuring and curation of social relationships and social behavior, through which the platform operators assume far-reaching social ordering and regulatory functions. The few large platforms that today enable and coordinate large parts of private and public life on the Internet can - according to the thesis of this article - be understood as differentiated societal structures with a distinct institutional basis, which the platform operators shape and control to a considerable extent by means of their own rules, regulations and coordination bodies-up to the performance of quasi-sovereign tasks by the companies, which were previously reserved for state authorities and have so far largely been able to elude democratic legitimation and control.
    Date: 2020

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