nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒08‒10
six papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Technology-induced Trade Shocks? Evidence from Broadband Expansion in France By Clément Malgouyres; Thierry Mayer; Clément Mazet-Sonilhac
  2. Tech in Fin before FinTech: Blessing or Curse for Financial Stability? By Nicola Pierri; Yannick Timmer
  3. Information and communication technology in the lives of forcibly displaced persons in Kenya By Eppler, Mirko; Gaetani, Stella; Köllner, Francy; Kuhnt, Jana; Martin-Shields, Charles; Mebrahtu, Nyat; Peters, Antonia; Preiß, Carlotta
  4. ICT-enabled Connectedness: Implications for Sharing Economy and Communication Contexts By Abramova, Olga
  5. Gender, crop diversification, and nutrition in irrigation catchment areas in the central dry zones in Myanmar: Implications for agricultural development support By Ragasa, Catherine; Mahrt, Kristi; Aung, Zin Wai; Lambrecht, Isabel; Scott, Jessica
  6. Agriculture and youth in Nigeria: Aspirations, challenges, constraints, and resilience By ElDidi, Hagar; Bidoli, Thomas; Ringler, Claudia

  1. By: Clément Malgouyres (IPP - Institut des politiques publiques, PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Thierry Mayer (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Clément Mazet-Sonilhac (IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France)
    Abstract: In this paper, we document the presence of "technology-induced" trade in France between 1997 and 2007 and assess its impact on consumer welfare. We use the staggered roll-out of broadband internet to estimate its causal effect on the importing behavior of affected firms. Using an event-study design, we find that broadband expansion increases firm-level imports by around 25%. We further find that the "sub-extensive" margin (number of products and sourcing countries per firm) is the main channel of adjustment and that the effect is larger for capital goods. Finally, we develop a model where firms optimize over their import strategy and which yields a sufficient statistics formula for the quantification of the effects of broadband on consumer welfare. Interpreted within this model, our reduced-form estimates imply that broadband internet reduced the consumer price index by 1.7% and that the import-channel, i.e. the enhanced access to foreign goods that is allowed by broadband, accounts for a quarter of that effect.
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Nicola Pierri; Yannick Timmer
    Abstract: Motivated by the world-wide surge of FinTech lending, we analyze the implications of lenders’ information technology adoption for financial stability. We estimate bank-level intensity of IT adoption before the global financial crisis using a novel dataset that provides information on hardware used in US commercial bank branches after mapping them to their parent bank. We find that higher intensity of IT-adoption led to significantly lower non-performing loans when the crisis hit: banks with a one standard deviation higher IT-adoption experienced 10% lower non-performing loans. High-IT-adoption banks were not less exposed to the crisis through their geographical footprint, business model, funding sources, or other observable characteristics. Loan-level analysis indicates that high-IT-adoption banks originated mortgages with better performance and did not offload low-quality loans. We apply a simple text-analysis algorithm to the biographies of top executives and find that banks led by more “tech-oriented” managers adopted IT more intensively and experienced lower non-performing loans during the crisis. Our results suggest that technology adoption in lending can enhance financial stability through the production of more resilient loans.
    Keywords: Financial crises;Macroprudential policies and financial stability;Financial markets;Financial institutions;Financial systems;Technology,Financial Stability,IT Adoption,Non-Performing Loans,WP,pre-crisis,GFC,non-performing loan,Rajan
    Date: 2020–01–17
  3. By: Eppler, Mirko; Gaetani, Stella; Köllner, Francy; Kuhnt, Jana; Martin-Shields, Charles; Mebrahtu, Nyat; Peters, Antonia; Preiß, Carlotta
    Abstract: This report examines how forcibly displaced persons use information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Kenya. Focusing on the role and potential of ICT with regard to mobility and inclusion, this paper studies the needs of forcibly displaced persons and seeks to understand how technology could help to meet these needs. The study identifies success factors concerning the deployment of ICT services, which potentially support the lives of forcibly displaced persons. Based on this analysis, we formulate policy recommendations for organisations who want to deploy ICT services for forcibly displaced persons in Kenya. Since living conditions and access to technology differ in urban, rural and camp environments, the research was conducted in Nairobi, the Tana Delta County and Kakuma Refugee Camp. Our results are based on data collected through a mixed-method approach. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 90 forcibly displaced persons in Nairobi, Kakuma Refugee Camp and the Tana Delta County. Twenty-four organisations providing ICT services in Kenya were interviewed to provide a practitioners' perspective. The creation of the interview guides and the codebook for the analysis were developed based on the e-governance framework developed by Verdegem and Verleye, who have identified important conditions for a successful uptake of ICT services, namely awareness, perception, access and usability. [...]
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Abramova, Olga
    Abstract: The advent of the Internet and other modern ICTs has culminated in a “global village,” where people can interact with others across the globe as if they were living next door. This ICT-enabled connectedness has brought opportunities for the creation of new forms of exchange. Companies like YouTube, Alibaba or BlaBlaCar have successfully adopted a novel way of structuring their businesses – a platform model - by shifting organizational design away from selling products towards the facilitation of exchanges between two or more (related) user groups (e.g., content creators and audience in case of Youtube, sellers and buyers for Alibaba, riders and drivers in case of BlaBlaCar). This thesis focuses on two main areas that are affected by the transformation engendered by the ICT-enabled connectedness – business and communication. First, it discusses the sharing economy as a new economic paradigm that disrupted the traditional ownership model by leveraging peer-to-peer technological platforms to facilitate the exchange of resources. While many practitioners have presaged the sharing economy to open significant opportunities for a more sustainable and open society, some experts questioned the potentially devastating future of such peer-to-peer deals, drawing particular attention to the amplified information asymmetries. Prior research has explored uncertainty as a significant source of information asymmetry, mainly in e-commerce (e.g., eBay). Focusing on the unique contextual characteristics of sharing transactions (e.g., absence of ownership transfer, service orientation and intense interaction among parties), seven papers respond to an apparent urgency for systematic and thorough scrutiny of the sources and consequences of uncertainty in this particular domain. Paper A conceptualizes uncertainty in sharing arrangements by building on information asymmetry theory and extends it from supplier and resource to collaboration. We construct and validate a theoretical model that includes the antecedents, nature, and consequences of uncertainty. Building on the fact that ambiguity can be reduced with information, Paper B investigates the effectiveness and monetary value of the information cues commonly used by sharing platforms via a discrete choice experiment methodology. Acknowledging the potentially adverse effect of such cues as negative reviews, peer-to-peer sharing platforms have readily embraced the “response” option, empowering providers with the opportunity to challenge, deny or at least apologize for the subject of critique. Leaning on communication theory, Paper C explores the impact of different response strategies and review negativity on trusting beliefs towards the provider in accommodation sharing settings. Extending this line of research, Paper D, as a practice-oriented article, highlights the implications of negative reviews on the host’s image and willingness to rent a room. Lastly, Paper E reverses the perspective and affirms the receptivity of suppliers to the cues sent from the consumer’s side. As such, it uncovers the impact of different self-presentation strategies of an applicant on the host’s decision to accept a request from a stranger on a peer-to-peer sharing platform. Second, this thesis debates the implications of the ICT-enabled connectedness in the interpersonal communication context. The pervasive use of ICTs (especially smartphones) makes a difference in the ways we maintain and develop relationships, disclose things to each other, and exchange information. Users’ attachment to their smartphones, which often serve to engage with social media, evidenced detrimental intra- and interpersonal consequences, including negative emotions like envy, anger, depression and conflicts among conversational partners. To this end, two papers of the dissertation challenge the frequently promoted euphoria regarding the permanent “connectedness.” Specifically, the phenomenon of snubbing an interlocutor when using the smartphone in his or her company, coined as “phubbing,” motivations behind this behavior and the effect on communicational outcomes in education and relationship contexts have been investigated. Paper F focuses on the academic environment and demonstrates how interruptions through ICT undermine two key learning modalities – visual and auditory attention. Paper G investigates excessive smartphone use in a romantic context. We construct and validate a conceptual model that posits ignoring a partner with the smartphone as a predictor of adverse relationship outcomes through triggering feelings of jealousy. Implications for future research and practitioners are extensively discussed for each article and recapped in the final chapter.
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Ragasa, Catherine; Mahrt, Kristi; Aung, Zin Wai; Lambrecht, Isabel; Scott, Jessica
    Abstract: This report describes the baseline data collected from 1,835 men and women respondents in 998 households in two irrigation sites in the central dry zone in Myanmar to help diagnose, design, and test interventions to enhance the Myanmar Agricultural Development Support Project’s impacts on gender equality and nutrition. Baseline data show large gender gaps, in which fewer women than men achieved adequacy in all 11 indicators of empowerment. Eighty-nine percent of women versus 64 percent of men respondents were not empowered, and 66 percent of dual-adult households have gender gaps. The main contributors of disempowerment among women were high tolerance and acceptance of intimate partner violence, lack of work balance, and low membership in groups, especially influential groups. Although 95 percent of respondents owned smartphones, women were less likely than men to access Internet or social media through their phones. Thirty-nine percent of respondents received rice-related information and half received health-related information. Nine to 14 percent of respondents attended agriculture- or health-related training courses. Women were significantly less likely to receive agriculture and nutrition-related information and training than men. The dietary diversity score, a common indicator of diet quality and a good proxy for nutrition, is low in the sample. The individual dietary diversity score was 4.32, with no significant difference between women and men and no major differences between irrigation water users and other households. Dairy, nuts and seeds, eggs, vitamin-A-rich fruits and vegetables, and other fruits are not commonly or frequently consumed by a majority of respondents. Beans and dark leafy vegetables, which are relatively abundant in the study context, are consumed by only 38–48 percent of the respondents on a daily basis. Nutrition education highlighting dietary diversity can help the sample communities achieve better nutrition. Overall, most women and men in the sample communities employ good sanitation practices, but more people need to be sensitized on proper garbage disposal, drinking water treatment, and proper and more frequent handwashing.
    Keywords: MYANMAR; BURMA; SOUTHEAST ASIA; ASIA; empowerment; gender; women; women's empowerment; irrigation; technology; internet; mobile phones; nutrition; water treatment; crops; arid zones; diversification; crop diversification; dietary diversity
    Date: 2020
  6. By: ElDidi, Hagar; Bidoli, Thomas; Ringler, Claudia
    Abstract: Nigeria’s rural youth are facing various challenges in agriculture, with limited job opportunities outside the sector. Using qualitative focus group discussions and individual interviews with youth in four communities in two Nigerian states, the paper reflects on nuanced differences in perceptions of opportunities, coping mechanisms and overall resilience of youth in rural Nigeria, as well as differential access to information, inputs and irrigation based on age, gender and community. We apply the GCAN framework, to illustrate the factors that shape resilience pathways in the context of climate change and other shocks and stressors. Many of the constraints rural youth face are faced by other groups, including lack of finance, farm inputs and modern equipment for production and processing. Yet, youth face higher and specific hurdles related to lack of capital, experience and a strong social capital and networks that would facilitate coping with climatic and other shocks and improving their livelihoods. Young women in particular have less access to information and irrigation, and are less likely to benefit from cooperative memberships. Nevertheless, young men and women have higher resilience compared to older groups in terms of health, mobility and ability to migrate, as well as easier access to the internet as a source of information. Youth can better build resilience and a network and receive government assistance when part of a cooperative. Nevertheless, a larger enabling environment in the sector is needed, to improve roads, access to markets, information, inputs and equipment to support young farmers who cannot leave the agriculture sector. A promising factor is that many young men and women realize the importance of agriculture and aspire to become successful in the sector.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; agriculture; youth; resilience; climate change; gender; farmers; irrigation; water; agricultural extension; access to information; cooperatives; decision making; rural areas; youth employment; migration; climate shocks
    Date: 2020

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