nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2020‒12‒21
six papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. The Impact of ICTs and Digitalization on Productivity and Labor Share: Evidence from French firms By Cette Gilbert; Nevoux Sandra; Py Loriane
  2. Is innovation in ICT valuable for the efficiency of Italian museums? By Calogero Guccio; Marco Ferdinando Martorana; Isidoro Mazza; Giacomo Pignataro; Ilde Rizzo
  3. Search and Information Frictions on Global E-Commerce Platforms: Evidence from AliExpress By Jie Bai; Maggie Chen; Jin Liu; Daniel Yi Xu
  4. Political representation and the right of recall: A proposal By Ernesto Screpanti
  5. US Children ‘Learning Online’ During COVID-19 Without the Internet or a Computer: Visualizing the Gradient by Race/Ethnicity and Parental Educational Attainment By Friedman, Joseph; York, Hunter; Mokdad, Ali; Gakidou, Emmanuela
  6. How labor market institutions affect technological choices By Samwer, Julia; Chen, Chinchih

  1. By: Cette Gilbert; Nevoux Sandra; Py Loriane
    Abstract: Taking advantage of an original firm-level survey carried out by the Banque de France, we empirically investigate how the employment of ICT specialists (in-house and external) and the use of digital technologies (cloud and big data) have an impact on firm productivity and labor share. Our analysis relies on the survey responses in 2018 of 1,065 French firms belonging to the manufacturing sector and with at least 20 employees. To tackle potential endogeneity issues, we adopt an instrumental variable approach as proposed by Bartik (1991). The results of our crosssection estimations point to a large effect: ceteris paribus, the employment of ICT specialists and the use of digital technologies improve a firm’s labor productivity by about 23% and its total factor productivity by about 17%. Conversely, the employment of in-house ICT specialists and the use of big data both have a detrimental impact on labor share, of about 2.5 percentage points respectively.
    Keywords: Productivity, ICT, digitalization
    JEL: O3 O4 J24 L11
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Calogero Guccio (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Marco Ferdinando Martorana (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Isidoro Mazza (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Giacomo Pignataro (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Ilde Rizzo (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the efficiency in attracting visitors of Italian museums. Notwithstanding the extensive literature on museum performance measurement, the analysis of the role of technological innovation is relatively neglected. As a first attempt to fill this lacuna, this study presents a two-stage analysis of a novel sample of Italian state-owned museums built by merging information drawn from different sources. In the first stage, we use Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and bootstrapping technique to measure the efficiency of museums. In the second stage, we use a bootstrap truncated regression approach to test the extent to which different forms of ICT affect museum efficiency. We distinguish the ICT investments into in situ and online services, since the former improve the visitors’ experience on site, while the latter can prepare for the visit or, even, be a substitute of the visit. The results reveal that the use of ICT is generally associated with better performances but in situ services shows to play a major role.
    Keywords: museums; ICT; technological innovation; efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis; bootstrap truncated regression
    JEL: C14 C61 I21 Z1
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Jie Bai; Maggie Chen; Jin Liu; Daniel Yi Xu
    Abstract: Global e-commerce platforms present new export opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries by significantly lowering the entry barriers of exporting. However, the lack of market selection can lead to a large number of online firms competing for consumers’ attention, resulting in severe congestion in consumers’ search process. When firms’ intrinsic quality is not perfectly observed, these search frictions can further slow down the resolution of the information problem and hinder market allocation towards better firms. In this paper, we investigate how search and information frictions shape firm dynamics and market evolution in global e-commerce. Using detailed data from AliEpxress as well as a rich set of self-collected objective quality measures, we provide stylized facts that are consistent with the presence of search and information frictions. Moreover, using a randomized experiment that offers exogenous demand and information shocks to small prospective exporters, we establish that firms with larger past sales have an advantage in overcoming the search friction and generating future orders. This indicates that initial demand shocks could confound firms’ true quality in determining firm growth and the long-run market structure. We construct and estimate an empirical model of the online market that are consistent with our descriptive and experimental findings and use the model to quantify the extent of demand-side frictions. Counterfactual analyses show that alleviating information frictions and reducing the number of firms can help to improve allocative efficiency and raise consumer welfare.
    JEL: F14 L15 O12
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Ernesto Screpanti
    Abstract: In a representative democracy, members of parliament should be accountable to the voters who elected them. For this to be actually the case, the latter require an instrument of deterrence, a mechanism of control over opportunistic representatives, for example the right to recall them at any moment. However, two obstacles, one ideological and one practical, hinder legal recognition of this right. The first is due to the doctrine by which members of parliament legislate in the public interest, and therefore should not be constrained by a mandate binding them to their particular voters. The second consists in the fact that voting secrecy hinders the identification of which voters elected any one member of parliament. In this article, leveraging the potential offered by modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), I propose a model for an electoral system that dissolves the first problem and resolves the second. According to my model, electoral platforms constitute the formal instructions by which members of parliament are held accountable, and an electronic vote makes it possible to associate each member of parliament with his or her voters while still guaranteeing voting secrecy. Voters are then able to participate in a process of deliberation about the decisions made by their representative and may revoke their mandate if the representative fails to comply with it.
    Keywords: Election law, civil law, e-democracy, right of recall
    JEL: K15 K16 K38
    Date: 2020–12
  5. By: Friedman, Joseph; York, Hunter; Mokdad, Ali; Gakidou, Emmanuela
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to education in the United States, with a large proportion of schooling moving to online formats, which has the potential to exacerbate existing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in learning. We visualize access to online learning technologies using data from the Household Pulse Survey from the early Fall 2020 school year (August 19-October 26). We find that 10.1% of children participating in online-learning nationally did not have adequate access to the internet and a computer. Rates of inadequate access varied nearly twentyfold across the gradient of parental race/ethnicity and education, from 1.9% for children of Asian parents with a graduate degree, to 35.5% among children of Black parents with less than a high school education. These findings indicate alarming gaps in potential learning among US children. Renewed investments in equitable access to distance-learning resources will be necessary to prevent widening racial/ethnic and class learning disparities.
    Date: 2020–12–02
  6. By: Samwer, Julia; Chen, Chinchih
    Abstract: Does the adoption of technological change depend on labor market institutions? The disparities in technology adoption across countries are enormous and are a major factor in explaining poverty. The returns to introducing new technology differ across countries since they depend not only on skill-levels but also on incentives provided by labor market institutions. Wage compression through unions and minimum wage laws indirectly induce investment into technology. The employer is incenitivized to increase the productivity of employees and he can claim the full extra rent. The magnitude of the technological advancement also defines adoption rates. Small and cheaper technical changes are adopted in any institutional environment whereas larger technical progress is more likely to be integrated in rigid institutional settings. Using data on industrial robots and information and communication technology an empirical cross-country analysis explores the impact of institutional labor market patterns on technological choices and hence their influence on wage patterns, unemployment and inequality trends. It is shown that countries with strong individual labor protection adapt new technologies at higher rates, while at the same time the existence of strong unions and collective labor rights has a counter-effect.
    Keywords: Technology Adoption,Labor market Institutions,Robot intensity
    JEL: O33 K31 P48
    Date: 2020

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