nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒02‒08
eleven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Restrictions on Privacy and Exploitation in the Digital Economy: A Market Failure Perspective By Nicholas Economides; Ioannis Lianos
  2. The Advancement in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Economic Development: A Panel Analysis By Audi, Marc; Ali, Amjad; Roussel, Yannick
  3. Acceptance of Data Sharing in Smartphone Apps from Key Industries of the Digital Transformation: A Representative Population Survey from Germany By Svenja Mohr; Janis Cloos
  4. The Impact of Digital Marketing on Sausage Manufacturing Companies in the Altos of Jalisco By Guillermo Jose Navarro del Toro
  5. Gender Gap in Digital Skills in Greece By Maria Perifanou; Anastasios A. Economides
  6. A note on Germany's role in the fourth industrial revolution By Behrens, Vanessa; Viete, Steffen
  7. Digital Connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Perspective By Emre Alper; Michal Miktus
  8. Cybersecurity Risk By Chris Florakis; Christodoulos Louca; Roni Michaely; Michael Weber
  9. Dynamic industry uncertainty networks and the business cycle By Jozef Barunik; Mattia Bevilacqua; Robert Faff
  10. Policy choices can help keep 4G and 5G universal broadband affordable By Edward J Oughton; Niccol\`o Comini; Vivien Foster; Jim W Hall
  11. Assessing social sustainability in the gig economy By Loganathan, Muralidharan

  1. By: Nicholas Economides (Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business, New York, New York 10012); Ioannis Lianos (Professor of Global Competition Law and Public Policy, Faculty of Laws, University College London, and Hellenic Competition Commission)
    Abstract: We discuss how the acquisition of private information by default without compensation by digital platforms such as Google and Facebook creates a market failure and can be grounds for antitrust enforcement. To avoid the market failure, the default in the collection of personal information has to be changed by law to “opt-out.” This would allow the creation of a vibrant market for the sale of users’ personal information to digital platforms. Assuming that all parties are perfectly informed, users are better off in this functioning market and digital platforms are worse off compared to the default opt-in. However, just switching to a default opt-in will not restore competition to the but for world because of the immense market power and bargaining power towards an individual user that digital platforms have acquired. Digital platforms can use this power to reduce the compensation that a user would receive for his/her personal information compared to a competitive world. Additionally, it is likely that the digital platforms are much better informed than the user in this market, and can use this information to disadvantage users in the market for personal information.
    Keywords: personal information; Internet search; Google; Facebook; digital; privacy; restrictions of competition; exploitation; market failure; hold up; merger; abuse of a dominant position; unfair commercial practices; excessive data extraction; self-determination; behavioral manipulation; remedies; portability; opt-in; opt-out.
    JEL: K21 L1 L12 L4 L41 L5 L86 L88
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Audi, Marc; Ali, Amjad; Roussel, Yannick
    Abstract: This study analyses the impact of advancement in information and communication technologies (ICT) on economic development over the period of 2000 to 2017 in the case of 87 developed and developing countries. The developed and developing countries are selected following the ranking of International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook Database, October 2018. This article uses three types of analysis: the first is based on the whole sample, and for comparative analysis developed and developing countries’ analysis are done separately. The results of panel least squares reveal that advancement in information and communication technologies has an insignificant relationship with economic development, whereas the advancement in information and communication technologies is playing a positive and significant role in the economic development of developing countries. This shows that developed countries are getting more benefits from advancement in information and communication technologies in comparison with developing countries in the process of economic development. The developed countries have a more stable macroeconomic environment in comparison with developing countries, so macroeconomic stability is playing more significant role in the case of developed countries. If developing countries want to achieve higher economic development, they must increase trade and physical capital with stable macroeconomic environment. Moreover, developing countries should adopt advancement in information and communication technologies (ICT) to compete with developed countries in the process of economic development.
    Keywords: ICT, economic development, macroeconomic stability
    JEL: E3 L86 O1
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Svenja Mohr (Justus Liebig University Giessen); Janis Cloos (Clausthal University of Technology)
    Abstract: The use of smartphone apps has numerous advantages for app providers and users. However, the users of many smartphone apps are confronted with a trade-off between usage benefits and preferences for personal data protection. We investigate the acceptability of data sharing in different hypothetical scenarios describing five types of these apps from key industries of the digital transformation. In a representative survey for the German population (ð ‘ =1,013), we examine to what extent the acceptance of data sharing is influenced by potential recipients, collected information attributes, and the promoted benefits of data sharing. We differentiate the promoted benefits in two treatments according to monetary (or personal) and environmental (or public) benefits. Our results show no treatment effects but significant differences in acceptance values for different recipients and information attributes. We further observe that participants with stronger green consumption values, participants with a stronger risk propensity, men, and younger participants show a higher acceptance towards data sharing in the described scenarios.
    Keywords: privacy, digitalization, digital transformation, representative survey, data protection, environmental attitudes
    JEL: O33 Q18 C83 L86 M31 M37
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Guillermo Jose Navarro del Toro
    Abstract: One of the goals of any business, in addition to producing high-quality, community-accepted products, is to significantly increase sales. Unfortunately, there are regions where new marketing technologies that make it possible to reach a larger number of potential consumers, not only at the regional level, but also at the state and national level, are not yet used. This research, which included qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as interviews applied to owners, employees and clients of three sausage companies, seeks to measure the impact of digital marketing in the Altos of Jalisco, Mexico. Thus, in addition to inquiring about the degree of knowledge they have regarding information and communication technologies (ICT) to expand their markets to areas with higher population density, another goal is to know the opinion about their manufactured products, their quality and acceptance. It should not be forgotten that companies are moving to an increasingly connected world, which enables entrepreneurs to get their products to a greater number of consumers through the Internet and smart devices, such as cell phones, tablets and computers; and thus ensure the survival of the company and a longer stay in the market.
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Maria Perifanou (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece); Anastasios A. Economides (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)
    Abstract: Inequalities between men and women exist not only in economy and society but also in education all over the world. Many initiatives are launched to empower women with advanced skills in many countries. This paper describes the policies and initiatives to foster gender equality in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)-related education and employment in Greece. National and European Union (EU) statistics show that there exists a wide gender gap in ICT-related higher education participation, employment, and salaries in Greece. Various policies and initiatives aim at empowering women with digital skills. The paper suggests a framework to fight gender discrimination in ICT across four (4) dimensions (ICT education, training, digital tools and infrastructure, people networking, ICT jobs) and three (3) axes (access, use and participate, create). The resulting framework consists of twelve (12) areas. The paper gives example strategies for some of the areas. Finally, the paper present conclusions and suggestions for future research.
    Keywords: digital skills, digital competence, employment initiatives, equality policies, gender differences, gender gap, gender inequality, ICT skills, equality policies
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Behrens, Vanessa; Viete, Steffen
    Abstract: This paper provides in-depth insights into patenting activities in technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Germany and worldwide between the years 1990 and 2016. The descriptive analysis of these digital inventions at the current technological frontier yields several main findings. Germany is a leader in 4IR innovations, accounting for 12% of all 4IR patents filed wordwide. Digital inventions are predominantly filed in the ICT sector, yet compared to other 4IR leaders, Germany's 4IR patents are relatively more directed to the motor vehicles sector and less so to the ICT sector. This is driven by Germany's high R&D-intensity in this sector, rather than a larger share of 4IR inventions in the motor vehicle sector. Germany's leading position is driven by its high number of patent applications rather than a specialization in 4IR.
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Emre Alper; Michal Miktus
    Abstract: Higher digital connectivity is expected to bring opportunities to leapfrog development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Experience within the region demonstrates that if there is an adequate digital infrastructure and a supportive business environment, new forms of business spring up and create jobs for the educated as well as the less educated. The paper first confirms the global digital divide through the unsupervised machine learning clustering K-means algorithm. Next, it derives a composite digital connectivity index, in the spirit of De Muro-Mazziotta-Pareto, for about 190 economies. Descriptive analysis shows that majority of SSA countries lag in digital connectivity, specifically in infrastructure, internet usage, and knowledge. Finally, using fractional logit regressions we document that better business enabling and regulatory environment, financial access, and urbanization are associated with higher digital connectivity.
    Keywords: Information technology in revenue administration;Infrastructure;Population and demographics;Machine learning;Income;WP,digital connectivity,EDAI SSA distribution,account ownership,ICT indicators database,SSA countries lag
    Date: 2019–09–27
  8. By: Chris Florakis; Christodoulos Louca; Roni Michaely; Michael Weber
    Abstract: We develop a novel firm-level measure of cybersecurity risk using textual analysis of cybersecurity-risk disclosures in corporate filings. The measure successfully identifies firms extensively discussing cybersecurity risk in their 10-K, displays intuitive relations with quantitative measures of cybersecurity risk disclosure language, exhibits a positive trend over time, is more prevalent among industries relying more on information technology systems, correlates with several characteristics linked to firms hit by cyber attacks and, importantly, predicts future cyber attacks. Stocks with high exposure to cybersecurity risk exhibit high expected returns on average, but they perform poorly in periods of increasing attention to cybersecurity risk.
    JEL: G14 G31
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: Jozef Barunik; Mattia Bevilacqua; Robert Faff
    Abstract: This paper introduces new forward-looking uncertainty network measures built from the main US industries. We argue that this network structure extracted from options investors' expectations is meaningfully dynamic and contains valuable information relevant for business cycles. Classifying industries according to their contribution to system-related uncertainty across business cycles, we uncover an uncertainty hub role for the communications, industrials and information technology sectors, while shocks to materials, real estate and utilities do not propagate strongly across the network. We find that a dynamic ex-ante network of uncertainty is a useful predictor of business cycles especially when it is based on uncertainty hubs. The uncertainty network is found to behave counter-cyclically since a tighter network of industry uncertainty tends to associate with future business cycle contractions.
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: Edward J Oughton; Niccol\`o Comini; Vivien Foster; Jim W Hall
    Abstract: In recognition of the transformative opportunities that broadband connectivity presents, the United Nations Broadband Commission has committed the international community to accelerate universal access across the developing world. However, the cost of meeting this objective, and the feasibility of doing so on a commercially viable basis, are not well understood. This paper compares the global cost-effectiveness of different infrastructure strategies for the developing world to achieve universal 4G or 5G mobile broadband. Utilizing remote sensing and geospatial infrastructure simulation, least-cost network designs are developed for eight representative low and middle-income countries (Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Pakistan, Albania, Peru and Mexico), the results from which form the basis for aggregation to the global level. To provide at least 2 Mbps per user, 4G is often the cheapest option, whereas a minimum 10 Mbps per user is cheapest with 5G non-standalone (NSA). The cost of meeting the UN Broadband Commission target of a minimum 10 Mbps per user is estimated at USD 1.4 trillion using 5G NSA, equating to approximately 0.5% of annual GDP for the developing world over the next decade. However, by creating a favorable regulatory environment, governments can bring down these costs by as much as three quarters to USD 0.5 trillion (approximately 0.2% of annual GDP) - and avoid the need for public subsidy. Providing governments make judicious choices, adopting fiscal and regulatory regimes conducive to lowering costs, broadband universal service may be within reach of most developing countries over the next decade.
    Date: 2021–01
  11. By: Loganathan, Muralidharan
    Abstract: Sustainable Development Goal 8 to “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” necessitates country level measures across the world. We take forward a comparative analysis of India’s SDG 8 indicator list with both the UN and ILO measurements. We note inadequate measurements on social-protection and rights for non-standard forms of employment including gig work, that are intermediated by ICT platforms. From our analysis we identify some levers to broaden the current indicator measurements to include these non-standard workers as well, to improve social sustainability.
    Date: 2021–01–10

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