nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒03‒29
eleven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. A Growth Model of the Data Economy By Maryam Farboodi; Laura Veldkamp
  2. Digital opportunities for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Systems and the trade facilitation effects of SPS Electronic Certification By OECD
  3. Collaborative information behaviour during epidemics: The case of Nipah outbreak in Southern India By Ben Krishna; Anindita Paul
  4. Association of the implementation, use and appropriation of information technologies with decision making in the public sector: An exploration of the case of the mayoralty in Bucaramanga, Colombia By H. Gélvez Díaz; J. Reyes-Rodríguez
  5. POINT Review of Industrial Transition of Bulgaria By Ruslan Stefanov; Patries Boeckholt; Dimitrios Pontikakis
  6. Local and global agglomeration patterns in the banking sector: the calm in the mid of a storm By Valter Di Giacinto; Marcello Pagnini
  7. The Return of Cash with the Declining Effect of Crisis: Rise and Fall of Digital Payments in India post Demonetization By Abhipsa Pal; Mahesh Balan U.
  8. An empirical analysis of human trafficking in an era of globalization By Yselle F. Malah; Simplice A. Asongu
  9. A critical hermeneutical analysis of CSR reports of three major IT firms in India By Christina Sanchita Shah; Ben Krishna; Anubha Shekhar Sinha
  10. Geographic cluster or global linkages? What accelerate emerging market firms foreign entry speed By Sandeep Yadav; Rajesh Srivinas Upadhyayula
  11. Understanding Smart Contracts: Hype or Hope? By Elizaveta Zinovyeva; Raphael C. G. Reule; Wolfgang Karl H\"ardle

  1. By: Maryam Farboodi; Laura Veldkamp
    Abstract: The rise of information technology and big data analytics has given rise to "the new economy." But are its economics new? This article constructs a growth model where firms accumulate data, instead of capital. We incorporate three key features of data: 1) Data is a by-product of economic activity; 2) data is information used for prediction, and 3) uncertainty reduction enhances firm profitability. The model can explain why data-intensive goods or services, like apps, are given away for free, why many new entrants are unprofitable and why some of the biggest firms in the economy profit primarily from selling data. While our transition dynamics differ from those of traditional growth models, the long run still features diminishing returns. Just like accumulating capital, accumulating predictive data, by itself, cannot sustain long-run growth.
    JEL: O3 O4
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: OECD
    Abstract: Countries are increasingly using digital technologies within their Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) systems and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are accelerating this evolution. While countries are increasing their use of digital tools, digital technologies still have significant potential to create efficiencies in SPS systems and enhance agro-food trade. Quantitative analysis using structural gravity model estimates show that digital technologies such as SPS electronic certificates have positive effects on trade volumes, notably for plant-based, vegetables and processed food products. Despite these gains, significant challenges remain in expanding the use of digital technologies in agro-food trade, including mixed capacities to adopt these technologies. Successful expansion of the use of digital technologies requires careful planning and long-term investments, as well as sharing expertise and building trust in these tools. Targeted financial assistance and capacity building can provide support to countries currently lacking the capabilities to adopt these tools.
    Keywords: Agriculture and food standards, COVID-19, Digitilisation, Gravity estimation, Market access
    JEL: F13 F66 J16
    Date: 2021–03–24
  3. By: Ben Krishna (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode); Anindita Paul (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode)
    Abstract: This study primarily investigates facilitating role of ICT during collaborative Information seeking at the time of epidemics. A detailed and systematic literature review has been done to identify themes related to Collaborative Information Behavior (CIB) in the literature. These themes are further assessed in light of the preliminary data collected from the four interviews from health care officials on the Nipah Virus epidemic in Kerala in the year 2018 and a conceptual model is proposed. Our study will contribute to the literature in CIB in the context of an epidemic.
    Keywords: Collaborative Information Behaviour, epidemic, CSCW, India, Information Behaviour
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: H. Gélvez Díaz; J. Reyes-Rodríguez (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana)
    Abstract: This investigation explores the association between the implementation, use and appropriation of information technologies in the decision making process in the public sector. The study adopted a quantitative approach with data collected from the application of a questionnaire to 294 employees at the mayoralty of the city of Bucaramanga, Colombia. Results show that understanding information technologies as part of a structured and gradual process can positively influence those who make decisions, facilitating and speeding up their work. The above requires three previous steps: first, to carry out implementations of information technologies in accordance with strategic planning; second, use those implemented technologies in a prolonged way over time; and third, appropriate such technologies to the point where its advantages are taken grasped of in a natural way to obtain effective results in the development of work activities. The practical implications of the influence of information technologies in decision- making in the public sector are to facilitate and expedite the decision-making process of workers who decide, through the implementation of approval channels, the availability and security of information, the historical evidence and the prioritization of resources.
    Abstract: Esta investigación explora la asociación de la implementación, uso y apropiación de las tecnologías de la información en entidades públicas. El estudio adoptó un enfoque cuantitativo con datos recolectados a partir de la aplicación de un cuestionario a 294 empleados a la alcaldía de la ciudad de Bucaramanga, Colombia. Los resultados muestran que tomando las tecnologías de información como un proceso estructurado y gradual se logra influir positivamente en aquellos que toman las decisiones, facilitando y agilizando su trabajo. Lo anterior requiere tres pasos previos: primero realizar implementación de las tecnologías de la información, de acuerdo con una planeación estratégica; segundo, usar dichas tecnologías ya implementadas de una forma prolongada en el tiempo; y tercero, apropiar tales tecnologías al punto que se aprovechen sus ventajas de una forma natural para obtener resultados efectivos en el desarrollo de las actividades del trabajo. Las implicaciones prácticas de la influencia de las tecnologías de información en la toma de decisiones en las entidades públicas son facilitar y agilizar el proceso de toma de decisiones de los trabajadores, a través de la implementación de canales de aprobación, información disponible y segura, evidencias históricas y priorización recursos
    Keywords: Information technologies,Implementation of information technologies,Use of information technologies,Appropriation of information technologies,Decision-making,Public management,Tecnologías de la información,Implementación de tecnologías de la información,Uso de tecnologías de la información,Apropiación de las tecnologías de la información,Toma de decisiones,Administración pública
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Ruslan Stefanov; Patries Boeckholt; Dimitrios Pontikakis (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This report documents the findings of a review of industrial transition of Bulgaria launched in 2019 in partnership with the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, which follows the POINT (Projecting Opportunities for INdustrial Transitions) methodology of the JRC. The review explores some of the policy pathways that Bulgaria might take as it seeks to digitalise its economy and derive multiple associated benefits in terms of pervasive productivity improvements and the creation of knowledge-intensive and therefore well-paid jobs for a broad cross section of the workforce. The Bulgarian information and communication technologies (ICT) sector has been on a meteoric growth trajectory over the past decade fuelled by the export of software solutions. However, ICT is still insufficiently connected to other sectors nationally and faces important skills bottlenecks. An important premise of this exercise is that the emerging strengths of the domestic ICT sector can contribute to the digitalisation of manufacturing and in particular of the mechatronics sector. This is because the needs of one sector closely correspond to the abilities of the other. Bulgaria has production strengths in both ICT and mechatronics dating back to the 1980s, which provides the necessary depth of the system for transformation. Based on extensive research, consultations with key stakeholders, and drawing from international experience the review makes a number of suggestions for improvement in long-term policy orientation, coordination and implementation. Importantly, there are significant gaps in the education and training systems that prevent systematic investments in human capital. Recent cluster initiatives by the ICT and mechatronics sectors and a proliferation of start-ups in both sectors are encouraging signs but will require considerable additional support to further develop and deliver broad-based benefits for the Bulgarian economy and society. The European Green Deal and the EU Recovery Fund offer a unique opportunity to address the gaps in the system and enable long-term transformation. In the medium term, there are considerable opportunities for further growth by nurturing greater domestic ICT use, including by government. A government-orchestrated effort to strengthen the linkages between ICT and mechatronics could help develop world-class production capabilities and also create a platform for wider digitalisation in other areas such as clean technologies, telemedicine and tele-education. For this effort to be successful, policy makers should consider actions that: Elevate human capital investment into a major national goal; Ensure sufficient public investments and encourage business investment on digital innovation, worker training, and upgrading of productive capabilities; Use the occasion of the digital transition to revamp rules and the structure of information flows, in order to improve governance and enable whole-of-government mobilisation; Strengthen and extend mechanisms that allow for coordination and collaboration with the business sector, ensure that policies leverage private investment and facilitate a continuous dialog that informs government policies.
    Keywords: Industrial transitions, smart specialisation, POINT review, lagging regions, Bulgaria
    Date: 2021–03
  6. By: Valter Di Giacinto (Bank of Italy); Marcello Pagnini (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We compare the spatial agglomeration of banks’ branches in Italy across local areas (as identified by local labor market areas) to that of other services. Banks branches appear to be only weakly spatially agglomerated, their spatial distribution being similar to that of other services and to that of the firms from whom the demand for banking services is most likely to stem from. These findings have been stable throughout the period 1991-2015, despite the dramatic changes occurring in that time span (liberalization, ICT and the great recession). On the other hand, local areas with a higher (lower) presence of banking branches tend to be geographically clustered, displaying also a moderately decreasing pattern in this polarization. IC technologies partially contributed to this trend.
    Keywords: spatial concentration, bank branching, ICT
    JEL: R12 G21 C19
    Date: 2021–03
  7. By: Abhipsa Pal (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode); Mahesh Balan U. (Indian Institute of Technology Madras)
    Abstract: The cash crisis in demonetization led to the rise of digital payment adoption in India. Similarly, across the globe, the diffusion of information technology has often been initiated by environmental shocks from crises and disasters. Nevertheless, the impact of the initial shock reduces over time. This results in a gap that challenges the future of the technology, whose primary diffusion had been triggered by the crisis. While the information systems (IS) literature heavily focuses on technology usage during and immediately after crisis situations, the phenomenon of dying effect of the initial push by a shock is rarely investigated, which is the purpose of this paper. We investigate this phenomenon using the cash withdrawal patterns of ATMs located in a state in India, for a period of three continuous years postdemonetization. The findings suggest that the demonetizations’ pushing effect on mobile payments has gradually dampened over the years. This study contributes to the prior IS literature on technology diffusion post-crisis and digital payment continuity. The government and policymakers promoting digital payment diffusion can gain insights from the study, and understand the dying effect of crisis-induced technology adoption.
    Keywords: Technology diffusion; Cash withdrawals; Information technology in Crisis; Digital payments
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Yselle F. Malah (Yaounde, Cameroon); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: The paper explores the dark side of economic openness by examining empirically the nexus between the globalization process and human trafficking. Specifically, it is about showing in a global perspective how the growing process of free movement of people, goods, capital, services and information technology make the globe a connected web of activity for the sale and exploitation of human beings. After discussing some transmission channels through which globalization could increase this practice based on the lessons from the literature, an empirical analysis is done by employing OLS and Probit regressions on a cross-sectional model covering 130 countries worldwide. Findings, robust to the consideration of the sub-regional specificities and controlling for social, cultural and historical factors, suggest that globalization, particularly financial and cultural, favors human trafficking. In the light of these results, some policy recommendations are discussed.
    Keywords: globalization, human trafficking, cross section model
    JEL: F53 C21
    Date: 2021–01
  9. By: Christina Sanchita Shah (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode); Ben Krishna (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode); Anubha Shekhar Sinha (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper to analyse to what extent and why the firms started or continue to practice the non-financial reporting amidst the financial crisis of 2008. Towards this goal, this study analyses the collection of CEO letters to stakeholders as published in sustainability reports of three big Indian information technology (IT) firms between 2008 and 2012. This article uses critical hermeneutics as a methodology to unearth the linkages between CEO letters to the stakeholders in their sustainability reports and context in which they were communicated. This is done by critical analysis of the style and motive of text in the sustainability report while juxtaposing it against the context in which it was written. The data set of CEO letters to the stakeholders allows us to assess the true motives of the firms in publishing sustainability reports during the global financial crises.
    Keywords: Financial crisis 2008, Indian IT firm, Critical Hermeneutics
    Date: 2020–02
  10. By: Sandeep Yadav (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode); Rajesh Srivinas Upadhyayula (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode)
    Abstract: This study examines, whether emerging market firms use global linkages as a substitute to the location in geographical clusters to promote the speed of foreign market entry. Drawing from economic geography, we find a slower speed of foreign market entry by firms located outside geographical clusters in the home country as compared to firms inside clusters. This relationship is further moderated by the firm's cognitive proximity in the foreign markets (measured as a firm’s extent of informal global linkages). Cognitive proximity increases the transfer of tacit knowledge and weakens the negative impact of firm cluster absence on the speed of foreign entry. We test the proposed hypotheses using the cox proportional hazard model based on a longitudinal sample of 747 Indian firms in the information technology industry (IT) from 2000 to 2019.
    Keywords: Emerging markets; emerging market firm; theory of EMNE; clusters; cognitive proximity
    Date: 2021–01
  11. By: Elizaveta Zinovyeva; Raphael C. G. Reule; Wolfgang Karl H\"ardle
    Abstract: Smart Contracts are commonly considered to be an important component or even a key to many business solutions in an immense variety of sectors and promises to securely increase their individual efficiency in an ever more digitized environment. Introduced in the early 1990s, the technology has gained a lot of attention with its application to blockchain technology to an extent, that can be considered a veritable hype. Reflecting the growing institutional interest, this intertwined exploratory study between statistics, information technology, and law contrasts these idealistic stories with the data reality and provides a mandatory step of understanding the matter, before any further relevant applications are discussed as being "factually" able to replace traditional constructions. Besides fundamental flaws and applica-tion difficulties of currently employed Smart Contracts, the technological drive and enthusiasm backing it may however serve as a jump-off board for future developments thrusting well in the presently unshakeable traditional structures.
    Date: 2021–03

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