nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒10‒05
six papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Broadband Internet and Household Welfare in Senegal By Masaki, Takaaki; Ochoa, Rogelio Granguillhome; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos
  2. How broadband internet affects labor market matching By Bhuller, Manudeep; Kostøl, Andreas R.; Vigtel, Trond C.
  3. Digital Entrepreneurship Research: A Concise Introduction By Naudé, Wim; Liebregts, Werner
  4. An ever-looser union? Juxtaposing accumulation and agglomeration in the context of surveillance capitalism By Kleinod, Sonja; Klüh, Ulrich
  5. Knowledge Networks and Strong Tie Creation: the Role of Relative Network Position By Maria Tsouri; ;
  6. Small Area Estimation of Non-Monetary Poverty with Geospatial Data By Masaki,Takaaki; Newhouse,David Locke; Silwal,Ani Rudra; Bedada,Adane; Engstrom,Ryan

  1. By: Masaki, Takaaki (World Bank); Ochoa, Rogelio Granguillhome (World Bank); Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos (World Bank)
    Abstract: Senegal has experienced a rapid expansion in fixed and mobile broadband Internet infrastructure over the past decade. This paper examines the relationship between access to broadband internet and household welfare between 2011 and 2018 by integrating the latest two rounds of household budget surveys with data on the location of fiber-optic transmission nodes and coverage maps of third-generation (3G) mobile technology. Results show that 3G coverage is associated with a 14 percent increase in total consumption and a 10 percent decline in extreme poverty. These results are robust to controlling for spatial characteristics and access to complementary digital infrastructure, as well as to an instrumental variable approach that relies on distance to 3G coverage in neighboring areas. These effects are larger among households in urban areas and households headed by men or younger cohorts. Although in the same direction, welfare effects of proximity to fixed broadband infrastructure are not statistically significant.
    Keywords: poverty, household consumption, mobile broadband, Africa, Senegal
    JEL: F63 I31 L86 O12
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Bhuller, Manudeep; Kostøl, Andreas R.; Vigtel, Trond C.
    Abstract: How the internet affects job matching is not well understood due to a lack of data on job vacancies and quasi-experimental variation in internet use. This paper helps fill this gap using plausibly exogenous roll-out of broadband infrastructure in Norway, and comprehensive data on recruiters, vacancies and job seekers. We document that broadband expansions increased online vacancy-postings and lowered the average duration of a vacancy and the share of establishments with unfilled vacancies. These changes led to higher job-finding rates and starting wages and more stable employment relationships after an unemployment-spell. Consequently, our calculations suggest that the steady-state unemployment rate fell by as much as one-fifth.
    Keywords: Unemployment, Information, Job Search, Matching
    JEL: D83 J63 J64 L86
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Naudé, Wim (RWTH Aachen University); Liebregts, Werner (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: In the past few decades, technological progress has led to the digitization and digitalization of economies into what one could now call digital economies. The COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate the development of the digital economy. In a digital economy, digital entrepreneurs pursue opportunities to produce and trade in digital artifacts on digital artifact stores or platforms, and/or to create these digital artifact stores or platforms themselves. There is a well-recognized need for more research on digital entrepreneurship. As such, this paper provides an overview of the central research questions currently being pursued in this field. These include questions such as: What is digital entrepreneurship? What is different in the digital economy from an entrepreneurial perspective? What is the impact of digitalization - and big data - on business models and entrepreneurship? How can digital entrepreneurship be supported and regulated? The paper identifies areas of neglect, and makes proposals for future research.
    Keywords: gig economy, digital platforms, network effects, digital artifacts, digital entrepreneurship, digital entrepreneurial ecosystems
    JEL: L26 D21 M13 O33
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: Kleinod, Sonja; Klüh, Ulrich
    Abstract: The article explores regional policy issues at the nexus of economic geography and the recent academic literature on the political economy of digitalization. The objective is to blend these two areas of research to derive a first set of preliminary policy implications for so called "Smart Region" strategies. First, we document and analyze the finding that digitalization and, more generally, technological progress based on information and communication technologies represents a risk rather than an opportunity for many regions. Against the backdrop of the role of human capital accumulation in this process, "Smart Region" strategies should re-focus their attention on the settlement and development of "digitally competent" human capital. Second, we summarize key findings from studies that deal with the capitalist accumulation regime emerging in the course of digital change. This regime, often referred to as "platform capitalism" or "surveillance capitalism", appears to be antagonistic what is considered an integral and functional regional economy. Against this background, regions should meet calls for a rapid integration into this regime with a good deal of skepticism. Similarly, they should be careful not to embrace "smart" initiatives overhasty. Instead, they should develop their own definition of digital literacy and consciously incorporate alternatives to platform capitalism in their digital strategies. Attracting digitally competent human capital can support such an approach, especially if the respective initiatives are directed towards the public, educational and non-profit sectors.
    Keywords: Digitalization,Surveillance Capitalism,Platform Economy,Labour Markets,Regional Development,Smart Cities,Smart Regions,Economic Geography,Agglomeration,Human Capital
    JEL: H4 J24 J45 J48 J61 L16 O3 P1 R1 R58
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Maria Tsouri; ;
    Abstract: The proximity literature usually treats proximity in terms of common attributes shared by agents, disregarding the relative position of an actor inside the network. This paper discusses the importance of such dimension of proximity, labelled as in-network proximity, and proposes an empirical measurement for it, assessing its impact (jointly with other dimensions of proximity) on the creation of strong knowledge network ties in ICT in the region of Trentino. The findings show that actors with higher in-network proximity are more attractive for both other central actors and peripheral ones, which is further strengthening their position within the network.
    Keywords: knowledge networks, in-network proximity, strong ties, proximity dimensions
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Masaki,Takaaki; Newhouse,David Locke; Silwal,Ani Rudra; Bedada,Adane; Engstrom,Ryan
    Abstract: This paper uses data from Sri Lanka and Tanzania to evaluate the benefits of combining household surveys with geographically comprehensive geospatial indicators to generate small area estimates of non-monetary poverty. The preferred estimates are generated by utilizing subarea-level geospatial indicators in a household-level empirical best predictor mixed model with a normalized welfare measure. Mean squared errors are estimated using a parametric bootstrap procedure. The resulting estimates are highly correlated with non-monetary poverty calculated from the full census in both countries, and the gain in precision is comparable to increasing the size of the sample by a factor of three in Sri Lanka and five in Tanzania. The empirical best predictor model moderately underestimates uncertainty, but coverage rates are similar to standard survey-based estimates that assume independent outcomes across clusters. A variety of checks, including adding noise to the welfare measure and model-based and design-based simulations, confirm that the main results are robust. The results demonstrate that combining household survey data with subarea-level geospatial indicators can greatly increase the precision of survey estimates of non-monetary poverty at comparatively low cost.
    Keywords: Inequality,Employment and Unemployment,ICT Applications,Labor&Employment Law,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2020–09–08

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.