nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
nine papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. International Connectivity and the Digital Divide in Sub-Saharan Africa By Joel Cariolle
  2. Can Digitalization Help Deter Corruption in Africa? By Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
  3. On the diffusion of mobile phone innovations for financial inclusion By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas Biekpe; Danny Cassimon
  4. How Enhancing Gender Inclusion Affects Inequality: Thresholds of Complementary Policies for Sustainable Development By Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
  5. Invention Disclosures and the Slowdown of Scientific Knowledge By Link, Albert; Scott, John
  6. Gender, Technology, and the Future of Work By Mariya Brussevich; Era Dabla-Norris; Christine Kamunge; Pooja Karnane; Salma Khalid; Kalpana Kochhar
  7. Predicting cell phone adoption metrics using satellite imagery By Edward J. Oughton; Jatin Mathur
  8. Technology Boom, Labor Reallocation, and Human Capital Depreciation By Johan Hombert; Adrien Matray
  9. The effects of ICT ownership on hospital performance in the Cameroonian context By Chevalier de Dieu Kutche Tamghe; Denis Ngae; Innocent Essomme

  1. By: Joel Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: During the last decades, international connectivity has improved significantly with the worldwide deployment of some 400 fiber submarine cables (SMCs), transmitting more than 99% of international telecommunications. If sub-Saharan African (SSA) has long remained excluded from this interconnection process, the maritime infrastructure network has recently densified and spurred African connectivity catch-up. This paper estimates the impact of SMC deployment on the digital divide in an original sample of 49 SSA countries covering the period 1990-2014. Diff-in-diff (DID) estimations are conducted and highlight the particular contribution of SEACOM and EASSy cables, laid in 2009-2010, to Internet penetration in Eastern and Southern Africa. According to DID estimates these SMCs rollout has yielded a 3-5 percentage-point increase in internet penetration rates in this region compared to the rest of the continent. Triple-difference estimations emphasize conditional factors under which these cables have fostered Internet uptake: enlarged Internet bandwidth per users, lower broadband Internet tariffs, higher investment in the mobile network, improved terrestrial connectivity, and electricity access.
    Keywords: ICT,submarine cables,digital divide,Sub-Saharan Africa,infrastructure,connectivity
    Date: 2020–03–18
  2. By: Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of digitalization on the perception of corruption and trust in tax officials in Africa. Using individual-level data from Afrobarometer surveys and several indices of digitalization, we find that an increase in digital adoption is associated with a reduction in the perception of corruption and an increase in trust in tax officials. Exploiting the exogeneous deployment of submarine cables at the local level, the paper provides evidence of a negative impact of the use of Internet on the perception of corruption. Yet, the paper shows that the dampening effect of digitalization on corruption is hindered in countries where the government has a pattern of intentionally shutting down the Internet, while countries that successfully promote information and communication technology (ICT) enjoy a more amplified effect.
    Date: 2020–05–29
  3. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Nicholas Biekpe (Cape Town, South Africa); Danny Cassimon (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
    Abstract: “Replications are an important part of the research process because they allow for greater confidence in the findings†(McEwan, Carpenter & Westerman, 2018, p. 235). This study extends Lashitew, van Tulder and Liasse (2019, RP) by addressing the concern of multicollinearity that affects the signs and significance of estimated coefficients. This article investigates nexuses between innovations in mobile money and financial inclusion in developing countries. Demand and supply factors that affect the diffusion of mobile services as well as macro-level institutional and economic factors are taken on board. The empirical evidence is based on Tobit regressions. The study finds that when the empirical analysis is robust to multicollinearity, two main tendencies are apparent: the significant findings of Lashitew et al. (2019) are confirmed and many new significant estimated coefficients emerge. While this study confirms the findings of the underlying research, it also goes further to improve the harmony in narratives between the predictors and the outcome variables. Accordingly, by accounting for multicollinearity, the earlier findings are now more consistent across the set of predictors (i.e. demand and supply factors) and the attendant financial inclusion outcomes (i.e. mobile money accounts, mobile used to send money and mobile used to receive money).
    Keywords: Mobile money; technology diffusion; financial inclusion; inclusive innovation
    JEL: D10 D14 D31 D60 O30
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
    Abstract: This study investigates how enhancing gender inclusion affects inequality in 42 African countries for the period 2004-2014. The empirical evidence is based on the Generalized Method of Moments. Three inequality indicators are used, namely, the: Gini coefficient, Atkinson index, and Palma ratio. The two gender inclusion measurements used include female labour force participation and female employment. The following main findings are established. There are positive net effects on inequality from the enhancement of gender inclusion dynamics. An extended threshold analysis is used to assess critical masses at which further increasing gender inclusion enhances inequality. The established thresholds are: (i) 55.555 “employment to population ratio, 15+, female (%)”for the nexus with the Gini coefficient. (ii) 50 “labor force participation rate, female (% of female population ages 15+)” and between 50 to 55 “employment to population ratio, 15+, female (%)”, for the Atkinson index. (iii) 61.87 “labor force participation rate, female (% of female population ages 15+)” for the Palma ratio.These established thresholds are worthwhile for sustainable development because, beyond the critical masses, policy makers should complement the gender inclusion policy with other measures designed to reduce income inequality. Some complementary measures that can be taken on board beyond the established thresholds could focus on enhancing, inter alia: information and communication technology, infrastructural development; financial inclusion and inclusive education.
    Keywords: Africa; Gender; Inclusive development; Sustainable development
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Link, Albert (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Scott, John (Dartmouth College)
    Abstract: Invention disclosures are one measure of new scientific knowledge that represents and predicts the future scientific research output of a U.S. federal laboratory. In this paper, we document a negative shift in the production function for new scientific knowledge as measured by invention disclosures at one federal laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, over the first 16 years of the new millennium. We find a negative shift of the production function for new scientific knowledge, and that shift might reflect the coincidence of the ICT revolution that enabled fast science, and the evaluation of research with uncritical use of citation counts that created incentives to focus on incremental research in crowded research topics.
    Keywords: Invention disclosures; Federal laboratory; Scientific knowledge; Knowledge production function; ICT revolution;
    JEL: O31 O35 O38
    Date: 2020–07–13
  6. By: Mariya Brussevich; Era Dabla-Norris; Christine Kamunge; Pooja Karnane; Salma Khalid; Kalpana Kochhar
    Abstract: New technologies?digitalization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning?are changing the way work gets done at an unprecedented rate. Helping people adapt to a fast-changing world of work and ameliorating its deleterious impacts will be the defining challenge of our time. What are the gender implications of this changing nature of work? How vulnerable are women’s jobs to risk of displacement by technology? What policies are needed to ensure that technological change supports a closing, and not a widening, of gender gaps? This SDN finds that women, on average, perform more routine tasks than men across all sectors and occupations?tasks that are most prone to automation. Given the current state of technology, we estimate that 26 million female jobs in 30 countries (28 OECD member countries, Cyprus, and Singapore) are at a high risk of being displaced by technology (i.e., facing higher than 70 percent likelihood of being automated) within the next two decades. Female workers face a higher risk of automation compared to male workers (11 percent of the female workforce, relative to 9 percent of the male workforce), albeit with significant heterogeneity across sectors and countries. Less well-educated and older female workers (aged 40 and above), as well as those in low-skill clerical, service, and sales positions are disproportionately exposed to automation. Extrapolating our results, we find that around 180 million female jobs are at high risk of being displaced globally. Policies are needed to endow women with required skills; close gender gaps in leadership positions; bridge digital gender divide (as ongoing digital transformation could confer greater flexibility in work, benefiting women); ease transitions for older and low-skilled female workers.
    Keywords: Information technology;Technological innovation;Labor force participation;Gender equality;Gender;Automation, Technological Change, Jobs, Female Labor Force, Occupational Choice, Gender Equality
    Date: 2018–10–08
  7. By: Edward J. Oughton; Jatin Mathur
    Abstract: Approximately half of the global population does not have access to the internet, even though digital access can reduce poverty by revolutionizing economic development opportunities. Due to a lack of data, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), governments and other digital ecosystem actors struggle to effectively determine if telecommunication investments are viable, especially in greenfield areas where demand is unknown. This leads to a lack of investment in network infrastructure, resulting in a phenomenon commonly referred to as the 'digital divide'. In this paper we present a method that uses publicly available satellite imagery to predict telecoms demand metrics, including cell phone adoption and spending on mobile services, and apply the method to Malawi and Ethiopia. A predictive machine learning approach can capture up to 40% of data variance, compared to existing approaches which only explain up to 20% of the data variance. The method is a starting point for developing more sophisticated predictive models of telecom infrastructure demand using publicly available satellite imagery and image recognition techniques. The evidence produced can help to better inform investment and policy decisions which aim to reduce the digital divide.
    Date: 2020–06
  8. By: Johan Hombert (HEC Paris and CEPR); Adrien Matray (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We study the long-run effect on productivity of labor reallocation during a technology boom. Using French matched employer-employee data, we examine the large cohort of workers who enter the information and communication technology sector during the late 1990s boom. Despite starting with 5% higher wages, these workers experience lower wage growth and end up with 6% lower wages fifteen years out, relative to similar workers who started in other sectors. The long-run wage discount is concentrated on STEM occupations, consistent with a skill obsolescence mechanism. Other moments of the wage distribution are inconsistent with selectioneffects and negative demand shocks.
    JEL: L86 E24 J24
    Date: 2091–09
  9. By: Chevalier de Dieu Kutche Tamghe (IPD - Institut Panafricain Pour le Développement); Denis Ngae (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Innocent Essomme (Université de Dschang)
    Abstract: This study aims to research the effects of the ownership of ICT on hospital performance in the Cameroonian context. To achieve this objective, data from a field survey of a valid random sample of 479 employees from first and second category hospitals in Cameroon are subjected to descriptive and econometric analyzes. The results obtained reveal that the level of ownership of ICT by hospital staff is very average and has an impact on hospital performance. Indeed, the inferential analyzes performed using simple regression showed a positive and significant effect of the perceived ease of use of ICT, the perceived usefulness and cognitive absorption on hospital performance. These results, discussed from the perspective of Berbain and Minvielle (2001), Li, Benton and Leong (2002), Mukuna (2016) and Picard (2007) suggest acting on the determinants of ICT ownership, which are: training, raising awareness and improving the working conditions of hospital staff if we want to improve their ability to use and their enthusiasm for this use of ICT. this would improve staff satisfaction, patient satisfaction and the quality of clinical services.
    Keywords: Hospital performance,Cognitive absorption,Perceived usability,ICT ownership,Perceived usefulness
    Date: 2020–04

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