nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒04‒19
nine papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. ICT's Wide Web: a System-Level Analysis of ICT's Industrial Diffusion with Algorithmic Links By Ekaterina Prytkova
  2. Remittances, ICT and Pension Income Coverage: The International Evidence By Adeabah, David; Asongu, Simplice; Andoh, Charles
  3. Does Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) Contribute to Youth Development in Informal Farm Entrepreneurship? Evidence from Rural Communities in Nigeria By Uduji, Joseph; Okolo-Obasi, Elda; Asongu, Simplice
  4. Do Information Technologies Improve Teenagers’ Sexual Education? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombia By Chong, Alberto; Gonzalez-Navarro, Marco; Karlan, Dean; Valdivia, Martín
  5. Bilateral digital connectivity and firm participation in export markets By Joël Cariolle; Michele Imbruno; Jaime de Melo
  6. SELFIE, adult learning and non-formal learning: A pre-feasibility study By Simon Broek
  7. Attacking and Defending Multiple Valuable Secrets in a Big Data World By Kai A. Konrad
  8. Lives Versus Livelihoods: Who Can Work from Home in MENA? By Shireen AlAzzawi
  9. The Phenomenon of Competitive Human Resources and How It Impacts Business Growth By Winatha, Arvin

  1. By: Ekaterina Prytkova (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to contribute to the understanding of diffusion patterns and relatedness within ICT as a technology system in the EU28 region. Considering ICT as a technology system, first, I break down ICT into a set of distinct technologies employing OECD and WIPO classifications. Then, using text analysis and the Algorithmic Links with Probabilities method, I construct industry–technology links to connect industries with ICT and track ICT's diffusion over the period 1977-2020. The analysis highlights the heterogeneity of the technologies that constitute the ICT cluster. As not all ICTs are pervasive and not all ICTs are key technologies, this leads to differences in industry reliance on them. The results indicate that the ICT cluster shows signs of a "phase transition", passing the phase of building bulk elements of the infrastructure and around the 2000s entering the phase of working on the functionality for business applications deployment and users' convenience. This transition is marked by the surging relevance of ICT technologies such as mobile communication, information analysis, security, and human interface. Studying the ICT as a cluster allows putting each ICT technology in context to compare them in relative terms; this is especially important for the discussion of novel and fast–growing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Concerning the structure of industry reliance on the ICT cluster, ICT's penetration is characterized by increasing scope but unevenly distributed scale; depending on the industry and the distinct ICT technology the intensity of their connections varies significantly. Remarkably, looking closer at AI technologies, in line with the current literature, a wide array of "shallow" connections with industries is revealed. Finally, I calculate relatedness metrics to estimate proximity among ICT technologies. The analysis reveals differences in the underlying knowledge base among the overwhelming majority of the ICT technologies but a similar structure of their application base.
    Keywords: ICT, algorithmic links, artificial intelligence, relatedness, industry–technology nexus
    JEL: O33 O52 O14
    Date: 2021–03–29
  2. By: Adeabah, David; Asongu, Simplice; Andoh, Charles
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of remittances and information and communication technology (ICT) on pension at the country level. Our empirical evidence, based on data from 96 countries, indicate a significant non-linearity between remittances, ICT and pension income coverage. First, we find a convex relation between remittances and pension income coverage, indicating that increases in remittance, initially decreases pension income coverage, but as remittance increases beyond a certain point, so too does pension income coverage. This inflection point, where the effect of remittances turns from negative to positive, is estimated to be around 3.09% of GDP. Second, we document a concave relationship between ICT (i.e. mobile subscription and internet penetration) and pension income coverage. An increase in ICT results in increased pension income coverage. However, when ICT reaches a certain point, any further increase is associated with lower pension income coverage. The estimated optimal point is found to be around 140.14 subscriptions (per 100 people) for mobile phone and 27.93 (per 100 people) for internet penetration, respectively. Other implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Pension income coverage; Remittances; Mobile subscription; Internet penetration; ICT
    JEL: C5 L96 O1
    Date: 2020–08
  3. By: Uduji, Joseph; Okolo-Obasi, Elda; Asongu, Simplice
    Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the impact of a growth enhancement support scheme (GESS) on youth development in informal farm entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Its special focus is to investigate the impact of the GESS on rural youths’ adoption of new technologies needed to sustainably increase food security in Nigeria. Design/ methodology/ approach – This paper adopts a survey research technique, aimed at gathering information from a representative sample of the population, as it is essentially cross-sectional, describing and interpreting the current situation. A total of 800 rural youths were sampled across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. Findings – The result from the use of a bivariate probit model indicate that the GESS has a significant impact on rural youths’ innovations in farming. Practical implication – This suggests that information and communication technology (ICT) could provide new opportunities for making farming more interesting and enterprising for rural young people. Social implication – It implies that while old male and female farmers are less likely to adopt the new farming technologies needed to achieve Nigeria’s agricultural transformation agenda (ATA), a younger generation can help introduce new technologies, whilst also learning from traditional methods. Originality/ value – This research adds to the literature on informal farm entrepreneurship and rural communities’ debate in developing countries. It concludes that engaging youths in GESS should form the foundation of the ATA in Nigeria, which, in turn, would offer adequate combination of new and traditional solutions to address the challenges of food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Youth Development Initiative, Informal Farm Entrepreneurship, Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS), Rural Communities in Nigeria
    JEL: C5 O1
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Chong, Alberto; Gonzalez-Navarro, Marco; Karlan, Dean; Valdivia, Martín
    Abstract: Across public junior high schools in 21 Colombian cities, we conducted a randomized evaluation of a mandatory six-month internet-based sexual education course. Six months after finishing the course, we find a 0.4 standard deviation improvement in knowledge, a 0.2 standard deviation improvement in attitudes, and a 55% increase in the likelihood of redeeming vouchers for condoms as a result of taking the course. We find no evidence of spillovers to control classrooms within treatment schools, and we find treatment effects are enhanced when a larger share of a student’s friends also takes the course. The low cost of the online course along with the effectiveness we document suggests this technology is a viable alternative for improving sexual education in middle income countries.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Colombia
    Date: 2019–05–01
  5. By: Joël Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Michele Imbruno (Sapienza University [Rome], Nottingham Center for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP)); Jaime de Melo (UNIGE - Université de Genève, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: This paper studies how bilateral digital connectivity resulting from telecommunications submarine cable (SMC) deployment affects firm participation in export markets. Using an unbalanced panel of bilateral trade data from 48 countries during the period 1997-2014, we find that a SMC connection between two countries is associated with an increase in the number of bilateral exporters in developed countries, but also with a reduction in the number of bilateral exporters in developing countries. This negative association between bilateral connectivity and firm participation in export markets appears to be stronger in the poorest developing areas: Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The growth in world connectivity spurred by SMCs deployment has therefore had a heterogeneous effect on firm decision to export, pushing more firms from high-income countries to enter export markets, and some incumbent exporters from lower-income countries to exit them.
    Keywords: Internet Connectivity,ICT,Submarine cables,Export behaviour
    Date: 2020–09–30
  6. By: Simon Broek (Ockham IPS)
    Abstract: SELFIE is a tool for schools to reflect on how they embed and use digital tools in their organisation and learning process. This tool was launched in October 2018 and is available in all official EU languages. It can be used worldwide by primary, secondary (general and VET) schools and post-secondary non-tertiary education institutions. Furthermore, SELFIE is currently further developing SELFIE to be applied in work-based learning (based on a feasibility study). The results and lessons learned of the pilot testing of the SELFIE work-based learning tool will be made available in a forthcoming publication. Between October 2018 and February 2021, more than 900,000 individuals participated in SELFIE. SELFIE is a tool that brings together the perspectives of school leaders, teachers and students on how digital tools are embedded and used in the learning organisation. The upper secondary vocational schools’ questionnaire consists of the following areas (besides a section on background characteristics of the respondent): - Area A: Leadership: This area relates to the role of leadership in the school-wide integration of digital technologies and their effective use for the school’s core work: teaching and learning. - Area B: Collaboration and Networking: This area relates to measures that schools may consider to support a culture of collaboration and communication for sharing experiences and learn effectively within and beyond the organisational boundaries. - Area C: Infrastructure and Equipment: This area is about having adequate, reliable and secure infrastructure (such as equipment, software, information resources, internet connection, technical support or physical space). This can enable and facilitate innovative teaching, learning and assessment practices. - Area D: Continuing Professional Development: This area looks at whether or not the school facilitates and invests in the continuing professional development (CPD) of its staff at all levels. CPD can support the development and integration of new modes of teaching and learning that harness digital technologies to achieve better learning outcomes. - Area E: Pedagogy: Supports and Resources: This area relates to the preparation of using digital technologies for learning by updating and innovating teaching and learning practices. - Area F: Pedagogy: Implementation in the classroom: This area relates to the implementation in the classroom of digital technologies for learning, by updating and innovating teaching and learning practices. - Area G: Assessment Practices: This area relates to measures that schools may consider in order to gradually shift the balance from traditional assessment towards a more comprehensive repertoire of practices. This repertoire could include technology-enabled assessment practices that are student-centred, personalised and authentic. - Area H: Student Digital Competence: This area relates to the set of skills, knowledge and attitudes that enable the confident, creative and critical use of digital technologies by students.
    Keywords: Non-formal learning, SELFIE, digital competences, work-based learning, human capital, adult learning
    Date: 2021–04
  7. By: Kai A. Konrad
    Abstract: This paper studies the attack-and-defence game between a web user and a whole set of players over this user’s ‘valuable secrets.’ The number and type of these valuable secrets are the user’s private information. Attempts to tap information as well as privacy protection are costly. The multiplicity of secrets is of strategic value for the holders of these secrets. Users with few secrets keep their secrets private with some probability, even though they do not protect them. Users with many secrets protect their secrets at a cost that is smaller than the value of the secrets protected. The analysis also accounts for multiple redundant information channels with cost asymmetries, relating the analysis to attack-and-defence games with a weakest link.
    Keywords: OR in societal problem analysis, big-data, privacy, web user, conflict, information rents, valuable secrets, attack-and-defence, multiple attackers, multiple defence items, multi-front contest.
    JEL: D18 D72 D74 D82
    Date: 2019–05
  8. By: Shireen AlAzzawi (Santa Clara University)
    Abstract: Since it began in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the world economy. The impact on MENA countries and their citizens can be framed by the trade-off between lives and livelihoods:the attempt to save lives by imposing social distancing and strict lockdowns has had a severe impact on the ability of workers to maintain their livelihoods as businesses have downsized or shut down in the face of declining demand. MENA countries have also suffered from the simultaneous oil price shock, which has had both direct effects on oil-exporting countries and indirect impacts on oil-importing and fragile countries, through the effect on migrant workers. In this study, we investigate the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, by examining the extent to which jobs can be successfully performed remotely. We develop a teleworkability index using micro data on occupational characteristics. We find that relatively few jobs in MENA countries are compatible with teleworking. While this share varies considerably by industry, gender, age and the nature of employment (formal vs informal), the digital divide (a lack of reliable access to vital tools for teleworking, such as a personal computer and reliable internet access) make teleworking unlikely in practice even for those whose jobs could potentially be performed remotely. Our results confirm that the workers who were most vulnerable before the pandemic will be the hardest hit
    Date: 2021–04–20
  9. By: Winatha, Arvin
    Abstract: Increasingly tight business competition map of industry has been the main focus for everyone in the world, especially in the industry we call it as the Industry era 4.0 . The awareness of this competiton has made many business organizations in the world, including Indonesia busy preparing themselves, particularly those related to the development of human resources, to be ready to compete in this global era. The Fourth wave of industrial revolution is marked by the use of information technology, artificial intelligence, and automatic engines or vehicles that have been going on since years before.
    Date: 2021–03–31

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