nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒10‒12
five papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. How Broadband Internet Affects Labor Market Matching By Manudeep Bhuller; Andreas R. Kostøl; Trond C. Vigtel
  2. Online reviews and customer satisfaction: The use of Trustpilot by UK retail energy suppliers and three other sectors By Littlechild, S.
  3. Knowledge Networks and Strong Tie Creation: the Role of Relative Network Position By Maria Tsouri; ;
  4. The Rise (and Fall) of Tech Clusters By Sergey Kichko; Wen-Jung Liang; Chao-Cheng Mai; Jacques-Francois Thisse; Ping Wang
  5. Academic Offer of Advanced Digital Skills in 2019-20. International Comparison. Focus on Artificial Intelligence, High Performance Computing, Cybersecurity and Data Science By Riccardo Righi; Montserrat Lopez-Cobo; Georgios Alaveras; Sofia Samoili; Melisande Cardona; Miguel Vazquez-Prada Baillet; Lukasz Ziemba; Giuditta De-Prato

  1. By: Manudeep Bhuller (University of Oslo); Andreas R. Kostøl (Arizona State University); Trond C. Vigtel (University of Oslo)
    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
  2. By: Littlechild, S.
    Abstract: Online consumer reviews are now widely used and influential. Trustpilot is a relatively new but rapidly growing consumer review website. It is by far the most used review website in UK retail energy supply sector. This paper provides some background and insight into how Trustpilot works, how it is used in that sector, and for comparison in three other sectors (supermarkets, banking and mobile phones), and how this usage has evolved over 2019 and 2020. There is great variation in usage of Trustpilot both within and between sectors. Trustpilot was least used by supermarkets and their customers, and most by energy suppliers and customers. Many aspects of usage, including numbers of Trustpilot domains claimed by companies, invitations to review, reviews and responses to reviews, have increased over 2019-20, although not evenly. Former incumbent companies typically make less use of Trustpilot in all four sectors, and have lower TrustScores than entrants. However, five of the six Large energy suppliers have made significantly increased use of Trustpilot over 2019-20, and their TrustScores have increased. Detailed examination of Trustpilot use by ten energy suppliers explains how inviting Trustpilot reviews enables them to improve customer service as well as increase TrustScores. A final pair of comparisons shows that companies advising UK customers on energy supply score highly on Trustpilot, and make active use of it. In contrast, voluntary and regulatory organisations in the UK energy sector and their customers make little use of it, and these organisations have very low TrustScores.
    Keywords: Online reviews, customer satisfaction, customer feedback, Trustpilot, retail energy market, supermarkets, banks, mobile phone providers
    JEL: L15 L84 L94
    Date: 2020–09–16
  3. 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
  4. By: Sergey Kichko; Wen-Jung Liang; Chao-Cheng Mai; Jacques-Francois Thisse; Ping Wang
    Abstract: Tech clusters play a growing role in knowledge-based economies by accommodating high-tech firms and providing an environment that fosters location-dependent knowledge spillovers and promote R&D investments by .rms. Yet, not much is known about the economic conditions under which such entities may form in equilibrium without government interventions. This paper develops a spatial equilibrium model with a competitive final sector and a monopolistically competitive intermediate sector, which allows us to determine necessary and sufficient conditions for a tech cluster to emerge as an equilibrium outcome. We show that strongly localized knowledge spillovers, skilled labor abundance, and low commuting costs are key drivers for a tech cluster to form. Not only is the productivity of the final sector higher when intermediate firms cluster, but a tech cluster hosts more intermediate firms and more R&D and production activities, and yields greater worker welfare, compared to what a dispersed pattern would generate. With continual improvements in infrastructure and communication technology that lowers coordination costs, tech clusters will eventually be fragmented.
    Keywords: high-tech city, knowledge spillovers, intermediate firm clustering, land use, commuting, R&D
    JEL: D51 L22 O33 R13
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Riccardo Righi (European Commission - JRC); Montserrat Lopez-Cobo (European Commission - JRC); Georgios Alaveras (European Commission - JRC); Sofia Samoili (European Commission - JRC); Melisande Cardona (European Commission - JRC); Miguel Vazquez-Prada Baillet (European Commission - JRC); Lukasz Ziemba (European Commission - JRC); Giuditta De-Prato (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This work aims at supporting policy initiatives to ensure the availability in the EU27 of an adequate education offer of advanced digital skills in the domains of artificial intelligence (AI), high performance computing (HPC), cybersecurity (CS) and data science (DS). The study investigates the education offer provided in the EU27 and six additional countries: the United Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland in Europe, Canada and United States in America, and Australia, with a focus on the characteristics of the detected programmes. It analyses the number of programmes offered in these domains, considering the distinction based on programme’s scope or depth with which education programmes address the technological domain (broad and specialised), programme’s level (bachelor programmes, master programmes and short courses), as long as the education fields in which these programmes are taught (e.g. Information and communication technologies, Engineering, manufacturing and construction, Business, administration and law), and the content areas covered by the programmes. The analysis is conducted for each technological domain separately, first addressing the features of the overall education offer detected in the countries covered by the study, and followed by an in-depth analysis of the situation in the EU27. Among the many results that this work provides, those associated to the most relevant insights can be listed as follows. First of all, the main role in the offer of advanced technological skills is held by the US, which leads in terms of number of programs provided in almost all combinations of technological domain, scope and level. Secondly, another important player is the UK, with a very consistent offer of bachelor and master degree programs (in both cases, the UK’s share is around 25% of the total offer detected). The consequences of the Brexit have, therefore, to be considered and faced also in terms of the education offer of advanced technological skills in the EU27. Thirdly, the role of the EU27 is notable but more varying (depending on the combination of domain, scope and level of programmes) than that of the UK. Regarding more specific aspects related to the EU27 offer, we detect a good amount of programmes offered in the domain of DS. As this domain is found out to be remarkably associated to the field of education of Business, Administration and Law, this is a positive finding suggesting a good supply of competences that are suitable to economic activities of various types. Therefore, what observed for the EU27 suggests a good alignment between the offer and the demand of DS-related skills. In the EU27 we observe a large share of programmes belonging simultaneously to both DS and AI. Considering the relatively high offer in DS, and the fact that AI is currently a techno-economic domain that is attracting a lot of attention and of private and public resources, a consistent connection between these two domains can be considered as an important key to favour synergies and future economic growth. Additionally, we find DS programmes quite widespread among the fields of education, which may facilitate the role of DS as a vehicle to further introduce AI, HPC and CS in the fields of education barely addressing these technological domains. We also observe a relatively large offer of AI master degree programmes in the EU27, which is an important finding given the role of this education level in the provision of competences for the workforce. Finally, it is important to note that we detect potential elements of weakness in the EU27’s education offer related to CS. These competences are increasingly crucial to prevent and fight cyber-related incidents, concerning both private and public spheres. Therefore, the detection of a relatively modest CS education offer (in comparison to other geographic areas) is a point that deserves attention. Many other findings are described throughout this report, but what discussed in this abstract has to be retained as the most relevant content aimed at supporting EU policies.
    Keywords: digital skills, education, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, high performance computing, digital transformation
    Date: 2020–09

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.
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