nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒02‒22
nine papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Digital divides across consumers of internet services in Spain using panel data 2007-2019. Narrowing or not? By Teodosio Pérez Amaral; Angel Valarezo Unda; Rafael López Zorzano; Teresa Garín Muñoz
  2. Does Online Search Improve the Match Quality of New Hires? By Gürtzgen, Nicole; Lochner, Benjamin; Pohlan, Laura; Berg, Gerard J. van den
  3. The Small World Phenomenon and Network Analysis of ICT Startup Investment in Indonesia and Singapore By Farid Naufal Aslam; Andry Alamsyah
  4. Coronavirus pandemic, remote learning and education inequalities By Marina Murat; Luca Bonacini
  5. A Retrospective Study of State Aid Control in the German Broadband Market By Tomaso Duso; Mattia Nardotto; Jo Seldeslachts
  6. Integrating South Asia into Asia: Evidence from Trade Statistics By Sapkota, Jeet Bahadur
  7. Education, Skill Training, and Lifelong Learning in the Era of Technological Revolution By Kim , Jinyoung; Park , Cyn-Young
  8. Supportive 5G infrastructure policies are essential for universal 6G: Evidence from an open-source techno-economic simulation model using remote sensing By Edward J. Oughton; Ashutosh Jha
  9. Can technology be leveraged for bridging the rural-urban divide? By Anuragini Shirish; Shirish Srivastava; G. Shainesh

  1. By: Teodosio Pérez Amaral (Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico. Universidad Complutense de Madrid); Angel Valarezo Unda (Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico. Universidad Complutense de Madrid); Rafael López Zorzano (Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico. Universidad Complutense de Madrid); Teresa Garín Muñoz (UNED)
    Abstract: Digital gaps have the potential to exacerbate the inequalities that exist in society. The main objective of this paper is to study the gaps that occur in the use of internet services by households in Spain during the period 2007-2019 and to become useful in the design of policies addressed to narrow specific digital divides. The data is a panel obtained from the ICT-H Survey on Households of the National Statistics Institute. This paper defines the gaps as the differences in the use of internet services across individual consumers. A selected group of twelve digital services are considered: e-commerce, e-selling, e-tourism, e-learning, e-health, e-banking, e-government, VoIP, chat, email, cloud services, and social networks. The second level digital gaps are analyzed in each service according to six relevant socio-demographic characteristics: gender, age, education, digital skills, population size, and income. A set of graphs show the evolution of the gaps. Gaps are narrowing in most dimensions and specific characteristics, but not in others such as age, education, and digital skills. The gaps reveal the evolution of digitization and in some cases of digital exclusion for specific groups. Specific knowledge about digital gaps is useful for policymakers, since closing the digital divide is an explicit policy goal in this country, as well as in other parts of Europe. Then, a dynamic panel data model was proposed and estimated using Arellano and Bond techniques. A dynamic/network effect was found, as well as other socio-demographic determinants. Finally, the paper contains conclusions, policy recommendations and an agenda for future research. The policy recommendations consist of digital education programs targeted at the most exposed groups such as the elderly, the less well-educated and people with lower digital skills.
    Keywords: Digital divide; Digital gaps; Internet services; Individual panel data; Dynamic panel data model.
    JEL: C30 L86 L96
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Gürtzgen, Nicole (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Lochner, Benjamin (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Pohlan, Laura (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Berg, Gerard J. van den
    Abstract: "This paper studies the effects of the high-speed internet expansion on the match quality of new hires. We combine data on internet availability at the local level with German individual register and vacancy data. Results show that internet availability has no major impact on the stability of new matches and their wages. We confirm these findings using vacancy data, by explicitly comparing match outcomes of online and non-online recruits. Further results show that online recruiting not only raises the number of applicants and the share of unsuitable candidates per vacancy, but also induces employers to post more vacancies." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en)) Additional Information auch erschienen als: IZA discussion paper, 14031
    JEL: J64 H40 L96 C26
    Date: 2021–02–17
  3. By: Farid Naufal Aslam; Andry Alamsyah
    Abstract: The internet's rapid growth stimulates the emergence of start-up companies based on information technology and telecommunication (ICT) in Indonesia and Singapore. As the number of start-ups and its investor growth, the network of its relationship become larger and complex, but on the other side feel small. Everyone in the ICT start-up investment network can be reached in short steps, led to a phenomenon called small-world phenomenon, a principle that we are all connected by a short chain of relationships. We investigate the pattern of the relationship between a start-up with its investor and the small world characteristics using network analysis methodology. The research is conducted by creating the ICT start-up investment network model of each country and calculate its small-world network properties to see the characteristic of the networks. Then we compare and analyze the result of each network model. The result of this research is to give knowledge about the current condition of ICT start-up investment in Indonesia and Singapore. The research is beneficial for business intelligence purposes to support decision-making related to ICT start-up investment.
    Date: 2021–02
  4. By: Marina Murat; Luca Bonacini
    Abstract: School closures during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 forced countries to swiftly 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 the necessary ICT resources at home or at school 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 both approaches, the distribution of cognitive losses is associated with countries’ educational systems. In the longer run, students who cannot learn remotely are more likely to end their education early and repeat grades. The two outcomes strongly reinforce each other in Spain, Germany and Italy. Results – robust to different specifications and the imputation of missing data – imply that countries must enhance e-learning and support disadvantaged students, but tune these measures to the characteristics of their educational systems.
    Keywords: Coronavirus pandemic, education, inequality, PISA.
    JEL: I21 I24 H52
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Tomaso Duso; Mattia Nardotto; Jo Seldeslachts
    Abstract: We provide an evaluation of the impact of public subsidy schemes that aimed to support the development of basic broadband infrastructure in rural areas of Germany. Such subsidies are subject to state aid control by the European Commission (EC). While the EC increasingly recognises the role of economic analysis in controlling public aid to companies, there are to date no full retrospective studies performed on state aid control, especially assessing the so-called balancing test. In this study, we do not only analyse whether the aid was effective in solving a market failure – low broadband coverage in rural areas – but also study its impact on competitive outcomes, on both rival firms and consumers. We adopt a difference-in-differences framework after using a matching procedure to account for selection on observables. We find that the aid significantly increased broadband coverage. More importantly, we find that the number of internet providers has significantly increased in the municipalities receiving aid. This additional entry decreased average prices. Therefore, the subsidies complied with EU state aid rules, both in terms of effectiveness and competition.
    Keywords: State aid, ex-post evaluation, broadband, coverage, entry, competition, prices
    JEL: C23 D22 L1 L4 L64
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Sapkota, Jeet Bahadur
    Abstract: Market-led regional integration in Asia is moving fast, despite the slow progress in establishing an effective Asia-wide regional integration institution. However, how South Asian economies are integrating into the Asian economy remains unclear. Using trade statistics from the Asian Development Bank’s regional integration database, this paper investigates the situation and determinants of trade integration of South Asia into Asia. While the trade volume from South Asia to broader Asia rose sharply from US $18.12 billion in 1990 to US $381.84 billion in 2017, the trade share (of total trade) rose from 27.35% to 40.1% during the same period. However, the regional trade intensity index (TII) of South Asia to Asia declined from 1.27% in 1990 to 1.16% in 2017, indicating the declining importance of Asia vis-à-vis the outside world for South Asia. Using the dynamic panel data approach on the cross-country panel data of five South Asian countries for the period 1990–2017, this study explores the determinants of South Asian trade volumes and share into Asia. The results indicate that the past record of the dependent variables and the aid flows from Asian bilateral donors significantly increased both trade volume and share. Other positive determinants of trade volume are the economy size, trade openness, FDI inflows and ICT access. While the number of FTAs is a positive determinant, a country’s level of economic development, size of economy and FDI inflows are the negative determinants of trade share. The military expenditure is a negative determinant for both trade volume and share. The finding suggests that more FTA participations and foreign aids from within the region should be promoted, and militarization should be minimized to accelerate the economic integration of South Asia into Asia.
    Keywords: Asia, South Asia, regional integration, globalization, trade statistics, panel data econometrics
    JEL: F1 F13 F15
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Kim , Jinyoung (Korea University); Park , Cyn-Young (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: Rapid technological development makes skills depreciate faster than in the past while new technologies generate gaps in workers’ skills and call for the acquisition of proper skills and lifelong learning. Proper skill mixes for future jobs include strong cognitive skills, basic information and communication technology, and analytical skills, as well as a range of noncognitive skills such as creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication. Retraining and reskilling workers is also crucial. All these changes lead to a major rethinking of education and skill training throughout a person’s life. This paper reviews the recent studies on human capital and skill formation in the era of rapid technological progress. Findings from these studies particularly in labor economics can shed light on new directions for lifelong education policies.
    Keywords: education policy; lifelong learning; population aging; technology
    JEL: I25 I28 J00 J24 O15 O33
    Date: 2020–01–23
  8. By: Edward J. Oughton; Ashutosh Jha
    Abstract: Work has now begun on the sixth generation of cellular technologies (`6G`) and cost-efficient global broadband coverage is already becoming a key pillar. Indeed, we are still far from providing universal and affordable broadband connectivity, despite this being a key part of the Sustainable Development Goals (Target 9.c). Currently, both Mobile Network Operators and governments still require independent analysis of the strategies that can help achieve this target with the cellular technologies available (4G and 5G). Therefore, this paper provides quantitative evidence which demonstrates how current 5G policy affects universal broadband, as well as drawing conclusions over how decisions made now affect future evolution to 6G. Using a method based on an open-source techno-economic codebase, combining remote sensing with least-cost network algorithms, performance analytics are provided for different 4G and 5G universal broadband strategies. As an example, the assessment approach is applied to India, the world`s second-largest mobile market and a country with notoriously high spectrum prices. The results demonstrate the trade-offs between technological decisions. This includes demonstrating how important current infrastructure policy is, particularly given fiber backhaul will be essential for delivering 6G quality of service. We find that by eliminating the spectrum licensing costs, full 5G population coverage can viably be achieved using fiber backhaul. In conclusion, supportive 5G infrastructure policies are essential in providing a superior foundation for evolution to 6G.
    Date: 2021–02
  9. By: Anuragini Shirish (TIM - Département Technologies, Information & Management - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School, LITEM - Laboratoire en Innovation, Technologies, Economie et Management (EA 7363) - UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne - Université Paris-Saclay - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School); Shirish Srivastava (HEC Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales); G. Shainesh (IIMB - Indian Institute of Management Bangalore)
    Abstract: Inequalities exist and persist in society in different forms and are often areas of prime concern for governments and policy makers around the globe. One such inequality that plagues societies is the rural-urban divide. Several social entrepreneurs are attempting to leverage technology to bridge this divide. In our research-in-progress paper, we describe the case of an Indian company, which is leveraging technology to create knowledge-based jobs for the rural Indian population. The approach adopted by the company in initiating and sustaining such an effort was an inside-out approach in contrast to the usual approach of focusing only on the internal resources within the company. Specifically, our research aims at abstracting the process mechanisms that enabled such an initiative. The unearthed mechanisms would inform future research on the modalities for orchestrating such an initiative. The findings would also help practitioners, especially social entrepreneurs, to think of innovative business models that would create value not only for the company but also for society as a whole. The delineated learnings would also help enthused social entrepreneurs to transplant such initiatives to other regions of the world.
    Keywords: Business model innovation,ICT for development,Reverse innovation,Rural-urban divide
    Date: 2020–04–06

This nep-ict issue is ©2021 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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