nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒10‒19
four papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Coronavirus pandemic, remote learning and education inequalities By Murat, Marina; Bonacini, Luca
  2. Growth factors in developed countries: A 1960-2019 growth accounting decomposition By Gilbert Cette; Aurélien Devillard; Vincenzo Spiezia
  3. On Productivity Measurement and Interpretation: Some Insights on Italy in the European Context By Roberta De Santis; Valeria Ferroni
  4. Environmental regulation and productivity growth: main policy challenges By Roberta De Santis; Piero Esposito; Cecilia Jona-Lasinio

  1. By: Murat, Marina; Bonacini, Luca
    Abstract: School closures during the 2020 pandemic forced countries to rapidly adopt distance learning, with uncertain effects on education inequalities. Using PISA 2018 data from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, we find that students unable to learn remotely, because of a lack of ICT resources or of a quiet place to study, experience significant cognitive losses that, everything else equal, range from 70 percent of a school year in the United Kingdom to 50 percent in Italy. Similar results are found by considering days of absence from school. In the longer run, students who cannot learn remotely are more likely to end their education early and repeat grades, especially in Spain, Germany and Italy. The distribution of cognitive losses is linked to countries' educational systems; hence, policies aiming to enhance e-learning by focusing on disadvantaged students and schools should be designed accordingly.
    Keywords: Covid-19,educational economics,inequality,PISA,human capital
    JEL: I21 I24 H52
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Gilbert Cette (Banque de France and Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France); Aurélien Devillard (Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France); Vincenzo Spiezia (OECD)
    Abstract: Using a new and original database, our paper contributes to the growth accounting literature with three original aspects: first, it covers a long period from the early 60's to 2019, just before the COVID-19 crisis; second, it analyses at the country level a large set of economies (30); finally, it singles out the growth contribution of ICTs but also of robots. The original database used in our analysis covers 30 developed countries and the Euro Area over a long period allowing to develop a growth accounting approach from 1960 to 2019. This database is built at the country level. Our growth accounting approach shows that the main drivers of labor productivity growth over the whole 1960-2019 period appear to be TFP, non-ICT and non-robot capital deepening, and education. The overall contribution of ICT capital is found to be small, although we do not estimate its effect on TFP. The contribution of robots to productivity growth through the two channels (capital deepening and TFP) appears to be significant in Germany and Japan in the sub-period 1975-1995, in France and Italy in 1995-2005, and in several Eastern European countries in 2005-2019. Our findings confirm also the slowdown in TFP in most countries from at least 1995 onwards. This slowdown is mainly explained by a decrease of the contributions of the components 'others' in the capital deepening and the TFP productivity channels.
    Keywords: growth, productivity, ICTs, robots
    JEL: O31 O33 O47
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Roberta De Santis; Valeria Ferroni
    Abstract: Over the period 1995–2016, the Italian performance in terms of productivity was poor in historical terms and in comparison with its main international partners. This issue goes beyond Italy, with declining productivity growth observed, from the second half of the nineties, in several other advanced economies. Possible explanations for the slowdown include factors such as lower capital investment by firms, decreased competition, excessive regulation, and capital misallocation. The diffuse slowing rates of measured productivity growth has also raised questions on whether GDP and output current compilation methods are adequate (i.e. the mis-measurement hypothesis). The “ICT revolution” has created new ways of exchanging and providing goods and services as result of increased connectivity. These developments challenge the way economic activity is traditionally measured. There are also measurement problems associated with estimating output and input volumes especially related to the quality of price indexes for some products and services. These problems have an impact on productivity estimates and might impair international comparability. In this paper, we intend to investigate what the core problems in productivity measurement and interpretation are in the European context, with a specific focus on Italy
    Keywords: Productivity, GDP, mismeasurement, prices, digitalization
    Date: 2019–03
  4. By: Roberta De Santis; Piero Esposito; Cecilia Jona-Lasinio
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the environmental regulation-productivity nexus for 14 OECD countries over the years 1990-2015 and discuss its main policy challenges. Our findings support the hypothesis that environmental policies generate positive productivity returns through innovation as suggested by Porter and Van Der Linde (1995). We find that environmental policies have a productivity growth-promoting effect. Both market and non-marked based policies exert a positive but differentiated impact on labour and multifactor productivity growth. Environmental policy measures generate also potentially mixed redistributive impacts. As for specific polices, green taxes display the largest effect on multifactor productivity although with potentially negative redistributive impact. We also find that environmental regulation exerts indirect positive effect on productivity growth fostering capital accumulation especially in high ICT intensive countries.
    Keywords: Environmental regulation, productivity, innovation, Porter hypothesis
    Date: 2020–08

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