nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒08‒24
eleven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Connected Italy By Emanuela Ciapanna; Giacomo Roma
  2. Consumer Uptake of Internet Banking, Endogenous Market Structure and Regional Integration in Europe By Bruce Lyons; Minyan Zhu
  3. Backwardness Advantage and Economic Growth in the Information Age: A Cross-Country Empirical Study By Khuong Vu; Simplice A. Asongu
  4. Importance of WhatsApp And Facebook Advertisement on small Business startups in Nigeria: A Case Study of Abuja Municipal Area Council By Negedu, Godwin; Isik, Abdurrahman
  5. Potential Consumer Harm Due to Regulation on Financial Advisory Communication in the FinTech Age By Tharp, Derek
  6. ICT specialists in employment. Methodological note By Montserrat Lopez Cobo; Ibrahim K. Rohman; Giuditta De Prato; Melisande Cardona; Riccardo Righi; Sofia Samoili; Miguel Vazquez-Prada Baillet
  7. Reflexive practices associated with teachers? pedagogical use of ICT: a Chilean case By Angela Novoa-Echaurren
  8. Weighted Accuracy Algorithmic Approach In Counteracting Fake News And Disinformation By Kwadwo Osei Bonsu
  9. Robots and employment: evidence from Italy By Davide Dottori
  10. Working Paper 340 - Innovation and Productivity in Developing Economies By Hanan Morsy; Amira El-Shal

  1. By: Emanuela Ciapanna (Bank of Italy); Giacomo Roma (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The purpose of this work is to describe the present conditions and possible development of telecommunication networks in Italy, with particular reference to new generation networks. We review the main technological solutions adopted from a cross-country perspective and investigate the determinants of the Italian lag on both the supply and demand side. We also assess the congestion risk associated with the COVID-19 emergency. The latter is interpreted as a large demand shock, whose effects on some sectors ? namely smart working, e-commerce and e-government ? are already visible. The main message from our analysis is that our country has shown varying degrees of resilience and adaptability to the shock: areas covered with high-speed broadband and clusters of firms and public administrations that had invested in digitalization in the past found themselves well equipped to face the shock. On the contrary, areas without an adequate bandwidth coverage, as well as firms and public administrations devoid of a settled digital culture, were caught unprepared. Our study reiterates the urgent need to maximize the coverage of the whole territory with high-speed internet broadband, and to invest in digital human capital development.
    Keywords: telecommunication networks, telecommunication regulation, broadband, 5G, digital skills, smart working, e-commerce, e-government, Covid-19
    JEL: K21 K23 L4 L96
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Bruce Lyons (Centre for Competition Policy and School of Economics, University of East Anglia); Minyan Zhu (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: This paper examines how market structure influences the early introduction and consumer uptake of a digital service that is a convenient alternative to traditional service delivery. Digital provision also has “extended geographic reach†and “lower sunk costs†as compared with bricks-and-mortar service provision. We further examine how these affect market structure. Internet banking provides an important example that also allows us to separate regional integration and national concentration dimensions of market structure. We develop an econometric model of the effects of market structure on the introduction and consumer uptake of internet banking. We estimate using panel data for all EU Member States and find that both concentration and regionalisation bring these forward. Next, we examine how consumer uptake of the digital product then begins to impact on banking market structure. We find a substantial de-concentrating effect in large non-regionalised markets and indirect evidence of integration in previously regionalised markets. This is consistent with internet banking having enhanced competition in both integrated markets and, despite little change in national concentration, also in previously regionalised markets.
    Keywords: Internet Banking, Digital Markets, Endogenous Market Structure, Market Integration, Consumer Diffusion
    JEL: L11 O33 F15 G21 L81
    Date: 2019–04–25
  3. By: Khuong Vu (National University of Singapore, Singapore); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to gain insights into whether developing countries benefit more from the backwardness advantage for economic growth in the Information Age. The paper examines this concern through three complementary approaches. First, it derives theoretical grounds from the existing economic models to support the hypothesis that the internet, inter alia, enables developing countries to reap greater growth gains from technology acquisition and catch-up. Second, the paper uses descriptive evidence to show that the growth landscape has indeed shifted decisively in favor of developing countries in the Internet Age in comparison to the pre-internet period. Third, using rigorous econometric techniques with data of 163 countries over a 20-year period, 1996-2016, the paper evidences that developing countries on average reap significantly greater growth gains from internet adoption in comparison to the average advanced country. The paper discusses policy implications from the paper’s findings.
    Keywords: backwardness advantage; developing countries; internet; technology catch-up; GMM
    JEL: O40
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Negedu, Godwin; Isik, Abdurrahman
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the importance of WhatsApp and Facebook advertisement on small business startups in Nigeria. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is widely belied to be an essential ingredient for economic growth, the performance of current policies are identified and proposals are offered to address the impediments. This paper uses the Abuja Municipal Area Council as a case study. Appropriate literature has adequately reviewed; some citations and data were referenced to, Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) software, survey data was distributed to 438 respondents. The survey was carried out to get responses on the contributions, and impact of Social Media Advertisements on Businesses in Abuja Municipal Area Council of Nigeria. The result of the survey analysis came out in the form of frequency tables, bar charts and histogram, and a detailed summary was carefully explained by researcher afterwards. The study showed that social media advertisements not only has a positive impact on business growth in Nigeria but has the potential to improve ease of doing business in Nigeria if research recommendations are followed and adequate improvements are made. The government needs to ensure low-cost tax-free online advertisement for startup businesses. Improvements in internet infrastructure will significantly reduce overhead costs for business owners and help startup businesses to grow. The paper explains the potential benefits of important policy improvements and the current impact of low-cost online advertisement in Nigeria
    Keywords: Nigeria, Entrepreneurship, Business Startup, Online Advertisement, WhatsApp, Facebook, Policy, Economic growth, Internet.
    JEL: M2 M3
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Tharp, Derek
    Abstract: This paper examines potential consumer harm that may arise due to regulating modern financial services communication technology with rules written in the early 20th century. It is argued that disparities in record keeping regulation across communication mediums disincentivizes the use of technology capable of generating records for consumer retention, while incentivizing the use of technology which shields financial advisors from accountability. Experimental evidence is provided in support of this argument. Further, it is argued that regulation disparities across communication mediums may result in more wrongful accusations of advisor misconduct, less reporting of genuine misconduct, less self-policing among industry members, and greater unrectifiable consumer harm. Objections to these arguments are considered, along with practical guidance for consumers, regulators, and policy makers.
    Date: 2020–01–06
  6. By: Montserrat Lopez Cobo (European Commission – JRC); Ibrahim K. Rohman (University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia); Giuditta De Prato (European Commission - JRC); Melisande Cardona (European Commission - JRC); Riccardo Righi (European Commission - JRC); Sofia Samoili (European Commission - JRC); Miguel Vazquez-Prada Baillet (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The digital transformation of the economy and society has intensified the need for digitally skilled labour force. Recent studies inform about expected increased demand, and skill shortages in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector, with a widening gap between supply and demand of ICT specialists. The need for accurate data on the number of ICT specialists in employment becomes more pertinent due to the development of policy initiatives aimed at increasing digital skills. Eurostat and the OECD define ICT specialists and propose a statistical definition using the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) 2008. Based on the Labour Force Survey, Eurostat provides an estimated 8.9 million persons working as ICT specialists in 2018 in the EU. This indicator annually feeds the Digital Economy and Society Indicator, a composite indicator that assesses the digital performance of EU Member States. This paper shows that this value underestimates the actual number of ICT specialists and proposes a more accurate method for the estimation. The list of ICT occupations includes both 3-digit (3d) and 4-digit (4d) codes. The number of EU Member States not reporting 4d data was 12 in 2011 and 6 in 2018. Therefore, the direct implementation of the definition is not possible, and a method is needed to estimate the missing 4d values and produce complete estimates for the EU. Eurostat developed an estimation method based on education data (EF method) to provide estimates for ICT in employment. This paper proposes the Ratio method for the estimation of missing data, compares its performance with the EF method, and produces estimates on ICT specialists in employment for 2004-2018, for the EU and its Member States. The results show that the Ratio method provides more accurate estimates than the EF method. We test the performance with two error measures by means of a cross-validation algorithm; in both cases, all six variants of the Ratio method tested reduce the error of the EF method between 35% and 55% when measured on countries reporting 4d data. The new proposed method estimates 9.2 million ICT specialists are working in the EU in 2018, 2% above the value with the old estimation method (the difference reached 26% in 2004). At country level, for countries with missing data, the new method implies an average increase of 34% in 2004-2010 and 17% in 2011-2018 with respect to the estimate with the current method. According to our estimations, the number of ICT specialists in employment followed an increasing trend over the two analysed periods (2004-2010 and 2011-2018), with an overall increase of 19% in the first period, and of 35% in the second one. The share over total employment also increases, with a grow from 3.2% in 2011 to 4.0% in 2018. These results are in line with other studies that show that the ICT sector was more resilient to the economic crisis that started in 2008 than the whole economy.
    Keywords: ICT specialists, employment, estimation, error measure, cross-validation
    Date: 2020–08
  7. By: Angela Novoa-Echaurren (Culture, Communication and Media, UCL Institute of Education)
    Abstract: This article discusses the role of reflexion in the process of decision-making of teachers associated with the pedagogical uses of ICT. Drawing on the synergies between Freire?s and Dewey?s notions of reflexive practice, the presentation reports the theoretical foundations and the preliminary results of a doctoral thesis that explores the phenomenon inside a Chilean school as a model of continuous professional development (CPD). The institution has been conducting a CPD programme based on a social constructivist approach aiming to increase teachers? agency for approximately 10 years. Considering the expectations of institutional policies, as well as different contextual factors that may shape the pedagogical uses of ICT, the study explores the ways in which teachers use the reflexive practice model as a means towards conscious incorporations of technology.
    Keywords: Reflexive practice, ICT, Continuous professional development, Institutional policy
    JEL: I29
  8. By: Kwadwo Osei Bonsu
    Abstract: As the world is becoming more dependent on the internet for information exchange, some overzealous journalists, hackers, bloggers, individuals and organizations tend to abuse the gift of free information environment by polluting it with fake news, disinformation and pretentious content for their own agenda. Hence, there is the need to address the issue of fake news and disinformation with utmost seriousness. This paper proposes a methodology for fake news detection and reporting through a constraint mechanism that utilizes the combined weighted accuracies of four machine learning algorithms.
    Date: 2020–07
  9. By: Davide Dottori (Bank of Italy, Ancona regional branch)
    Abstract: Increased robot diffusion has raised concerns for its possible negative impact on employment. Following an empirical approach in line with those applied to the US and Germany with contrasting results, this paper provides evidence about the effect of robots on employment outcomes in Italy (second European economy for robot stock) from the early 1990s up to 2016, both at the local labour market (LLM) level and at the worker level. In order to purge from demand and other confounding shocks, the identification relies on an instrumental variables strategy based on robots’ sectoral growth in other European countries. No harmful impact on total employment emerges from the LLM analysis; the estimated effect is negative when limited to manufacturing employment, but its statistical significance is weak or absent once concurrent trends relating to trade and ICT are controlled for. Results at the worker level show that incumbent workers in manufacturing were not damaged on average, with an overall positive (though not large) employment effect, driven by longer working relationships with the original firm; conditional on them remaining at the original firm, the impact is also positive on wages. On the other hand, robot diffusion turns out to have contributed to reshaping the sectoral distribution of the new labour force inflows towards less robot intensive industries.
    Keywords: robot, automation, employment, local labour markets, wages
    JEL: J23 J31 L11 L60 O33 R11
    Date: 2020–07
  10. By: Hanan Morsy (Research Department, African Development Bank); Amira El-Shal (Research Department, African Development Bank)
    Abstract: We examine the determinants of innovation and its effect on productivity across 52 emerging and developing economies, comparing African firms to their counterparts elsewhere. We use a generalized structural equation model (GSEM) to estimate the causal links while accounting for endogeneity. Our estimates show that access to finance has the strongest effect on firms' decisions to invest in research and development (R&D) in all countries. And while the drivers of innovation are remarkably similar in developed economies, the keys for African firms are access to external knowledge - largely via information and communications technology (ICT)- and skills development via on-the-job training. Only in Africa is the stand-alone effect of ICT adoption on innovation almost as strong as that of R&D; and the combined effect of firms' access to external knowledge through ICT and foreign-technology adoption and training is more than double that of R&D. Regardless of its content, the effect of employee training on innovation in Africa is double that in emerging markets. Finally, innovation is the key determinant of productivity in all countries, but the evidence is much stronger for product innovation by African firms.
    Keywords: Innovation, productivity, R&D, ICT, training, GSEM, latent variable, developing countries, Africa JEL classification: C30, D24, J24, M53, O3, O5
    Date: 2020–06–26
  11. By: Anatoliy Kostruba (Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University)
    Abstract: Rapid development of information technologies has led to the global computerization of society. As a result of this phenomenon in the field of education, the developed data processing environment, modular assembly of information systems (combination of different types of architectural solutions within the same complex) were formed. Consequently, the process of knowledge accumulation for the development of professional competence skills gradually changes the form of implementation. Well-known goals of higher education that are discovered in such elements as knowledge, understanding, forms of their gaining are subject to changes. The foregoing calls for the change in the educational paradigm one of the components of which, in our opinion, should be the transition to educational goals of another qualitative type in the cognitive field, including the development of applied professional legal skills, development of critical thinking, etc. This study contains the formed algorithm of professional training of the future lawyer which provides for the production of a model for the formation of professional competences of the lawyer as the basic element. Such a pedagogical model shall be based on the organic unity of theoretical, practical, psychophysical training, which in turn will provide the level of professional socialization. The model is based on four segments: target, meaningful, didactic and evaluation and productive. The study of the process of the formation of professional competences of the lawyer using the established model has made it possible to identify shortcomings in the content and didactic segments, which consist in overload of curricula with unnecessary disciplines of humanitarian content and lack of applied component in the educational process.
    Keywords: legal clinic,legal profession,legal education
    Date: 2020–05–28

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