nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒04‒26
nine papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Can internet banking affect households' participation in financial markets and financial awareness? By Valentina Michelangeli; Eliana Viviano
  2. Universal High-Speed Broadband Provision: An Alternative Policy Approach By Elmar G. Wolfstetter
  3. The Role of Institutional Infrastructures in Financial Inclusion-Growth Relations: Evidence from SSA By Ajide, Kazeem; Raheem, Ibrahim; Alimi, Olorunfemi; Asongu, Simplice
  4. Enhancing Information Technology for Value Added Across Economic Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Rahman, Mushfiqur; Nnanna, Joseph; Haffar, Mohamed
  5. The global network of embodied R&D flows By Fabrizio Fusillo; Sandro Montresor; Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti
  6. A Systematic Review of the Energy and Climate Impacts of Teleworking By Andrew Hook; Victor Court; Benjamin Sovacool; Steven Sorrell
  7. Backwardness Advantage and Economic Growth in the Information Age: A Cross-Country Empirical Study By Vu, Khuong; Asongu, Simplice
  8. Finance, inequality and inclusive education in Sub-Saharan Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Nnanna, Joseph; Acha-Anyi, Paul
  9. Real-time Gross Settlement Systems: Breaking the wall of scalability and high availability By Mauro Arcese; Domenico Di Giulio; Vitangelo Lasorella

  1. By: Valentina Michelangeli (Bank of Italy); Eliana Viviano (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We are in a digital era. Internet banking has been increasingly offered by banks (through simple websites and easy-to-use mobile apps) and demanded by customers for managing their own finances without going to the physical branch. The availability of this new channel to interact with financial intermediaries can reduce households' cost of acquiring information and the time spent for financial transactions; therefore, it could also impact on households' choice to start investing in financial markets. As the decisions to adopt Internet banking and to entry into financial markets could be jointly determined, we derive a measure of bank supply of Internet-based services, which constitutes our instrumental variable and it is assigned to each household in the sample. We find that the adoption of Internet banking induces households to participate in financial markets and, in particular, to hold short term assets with a low risk/return profile. Over time the adoption of Internet banking also drives a higher understanding of basic standard financial concepts.
    Keywords: Internet banking, financial market participation, household finance
    JEL: D14 G11 O33
    Date: 2021–04
  2. By: Elmar G. Wolfstetter
    Abstract: Millions of citizens and firms lack access to high speed internet, even though governments pledged to spend huge sums of money to subsidize internet networks. In this paper we review some systematic flaws of present subsidy policies and outline a promising alternative. We propose that governments should treat the broadband infrastructure as a public responsibility and set up intelligently designed public-private partnerships that fund and temporarily operate the broadband in exchange for collecting service fees and, if necessary, subsidies. Simple “least-present value of revenue” auctions should be used to award all concessions, not only those that require subsidies, and concessions should flexibly revert to public ownership depending on realized revenues. This procurement method is easy to use, immune to strategic manipulations and renegotiations, and has already proven successful in procuring toll-roads and bridges.
    Keywords: public-private partnerships, auctions, universal service auctions, high-speed broadband provision, public finance
    JEL: D44 D47 D86 H20 H54 L96
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Ajide, Kazeem; Raheem, Ibrahim; Alimi, Olorunfemi; Asongu, Simplice
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of institutional infrastructures in the financial inclusion-growth nexus for a panel of twenty countries in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA).Employing the System Generalized Method of Moments (GMM), the following insightful outcomes are established. First, while there is an unrestricted positive impact of physical access to ATMs and ICT measures of financial inclusion on SSA’s growth but only the former was found significant. Second, the four institutional components via economic, political, institutional and general governances were also found to be growth-spurring. Lastly, countries with low levels of real per capita income are matching up with other countries with high levels of real income per capita. The empirical evidence of some negative net effects and insignificant marginal impacts are indication that imperfections in the financial markets are sometimes employed to the disadvantage of the poor. On the whole, we established positive effects on growth for the most part. The positive effects are evident because the governance indicators compliment financial inclusion in reducing pecuniary constraints hindering credit access and allocation to the poor that deteriorate growth.
    Keywords: Financial Inclusion; Economic Growth; Governance; System Generalized Method of Moments (GMM)
    JEL: G20 I10 O40 P37
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Asongu, Simplice; Rahman, Mushfiqur; Nnanna, Joseph; Haffar, Mohamed
    Abstract: This study investigates how enhancing information and communication technology (ICT) affects value added across sectors in 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa using data for the period 1980-2014. The empirical evidence is based on the Generalised Method of Moments. The following findings are established. First, the enhancement of mobile phone and internet penetrations respectively have net negative effects on value added to the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.Second, enhancing ICT (i.e. mobile phone penetration and internet penetration) overwhelmingly has positive net effects on value added to the service sector. From an extended analysis, enhancing ICT in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors should exceed certain thresholds for value added, notably: 114.375 of mobile phone penetration per 100 people for added value in the agricultural sector and 22.625 of internet penetration per 100 people for added value in the manufacturing sector.
    Keywords: Economic Output; Information Technology; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: E23 F21 F30 L96 O55
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Fabrizio Fusillo (Università di Torino); Sandro Montresor (Gran Sasso Science Institute); Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti (Università di Milano-Bicocca)
    Abstract: We combine the World Input-Output Dataset (WIOD) with OECD data on Analytical Business Enterprise R&D (ANBERD) and build up the network that emerges by mapping the sectoral R&D expenditure that flows in an embodied way among 690 industry-country nodes (23 industries of 30 countries), from 2009 to 2013. Drawing on frontier network analysis techniques, we examine the distribution of the relational properties of the country-industry nodes, identify the most central of them, and detect the clusters that they form. Our analysis reveals that, while the diffusion of embodied R&D is highly pervasive on a global scale, the linkages it creates across sectors tend to be highly asymmetric and polarised. Furthermore, except for transportation and ICT related industries, embodied R&D flows determine communities largely confined within national borders. Despite being based on structural inputoutput relationships, the position and role of country-industry nodes in the global network of embodied R&D knowledge show a certain variability both over time and across network dimensions.
    Keywords: R&D flows, input-output, global innovation network, network analysis
    JEL: O33 R15 O57
    Date: 2021–04
  6. By: Andrew Hook (SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research - University of Sussex); Victor Court (IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles - IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Louis Bachelier); Benjamin Sovacool (SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research - University of Sussex); Steven Sorrell (SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research - University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Information and communication technologies (ICTs) increasingly enable employees to work from home and other locations (‘teleworking'). This study explores the extent to which teleworking reduces the need to travel to work and the consequent impacts on economy-wide energy consumption, with clear implications for climate, energy, and environmental policy. Methods/Design: This review assesses how changes in working practices are associated with different forms of teleworking, including the use of different ICTs, various commuting/travel options, and different working spaces such as offices, cafes, libraries, and homes. To do so, it conducts a review of more than 9,000 published articles. Review results/Synthesis: Overall, the review finds that 26 out of 39 relevant studies indicate that teleworking causes a reduction in energy use, and only eight studies indicate that teleworking leads to an increase (or only a neutral impact) on energy use. The main source of energy savings is via the substitution effect whereby teleworking leads to lower average vehicle distance travelled by those who telework either part of the week. The studies estimated that potential reductions in energy consumption as a result of reduced commuting travel could be as high as 20%. Other studies suggest possible energy savings through lower office energy consumption. Discussion: Despite the generally positive verdict on teleworking as an energy-saving practice, analysis reveals that there are numerous uncertainties and ambiguities about the actual or potential benefits of teleworking. These relate to questions about exactly what proportion of workers or frequency of teleworking is needed to bring a net reduction in energy use through avoided work travel. They also relate to questions about the extent to which teleworking may lead to unpredictable increases in non-work travel and home energy consumption that end up outweighing any gains from reduced work travel.
    Keywords: systematic review,teleworking,telecommuting,digital economy,energy,climate change
    Date: 2020–03
  7. By: Vu, Khuong; Asongu, Simplice
    Abstract: This paper seeks to gain insights into whether developing countries benefit more from the backwardness advantage for economic growth in the Information Age. The paper examines this concern through three complementary approaches. First, it derives theoretical grounds from the existing economic models to support the hypothesis that the internet, inter alia, enables developing countries to reap greater growth gains from technology acquisition and catch-up. Second, the paper uses descriptive evidence to show that the growth landscape has indeed shifted decisively in favor of developing countries in the Internet Age in comparison to the pre-internet period. Third, using rigorous econometric techniques with data of 163 countries over a 20-year period, 1996-2016, the paper evidences that developing countries on average reap significantly greater growth gains from internet adoption in comparison to the average advanced country. The paper discusses policy implications from the paper’s findings.
    Keywords: backwardness advantage; developing countries; internet; technology catch-up; GMM
    JEL: C5 O40
    Date: 2020–01
  8. By: Asongu, Simplice; Nnanna, Joseph; Acha-Anyi, Paul
    Abstract: This research complements the extant literature by establishing inequality critical masses that should not be exceeded in order for financial access to promote gender parity inclusive education in Sub-Saharan Africa. The focus is on 42 countries in the sub-region and the data is for the period 2004-2014. The estimation approach is the Generalized Method of Moments. When remittances are involved in the conditioning information set, the Palma ratio should not exceed 6.000 in order for financial access to promote gender parity inclusive “primary and secondary education” and the Atkinson index should not exceed 0.695 in order for financial access to promote inclusive tertiary education. However, when the internet is involved in the conditioning information set, it is established that in order for financial access to promote inclusive primary and secondary education, the: (i) Gini coefficient should not exceed 0.571; (ii) Atkinson index should not be above 0.750 and (iii) Palma ratio should be maintained below 8.000. Irrespective of variable in the conditioning information set, what is apparent is that inequality decreases the incidence of financial access on inclusive education. Hence, a common policy measure is to reduce inequality in order to promote inclusive education using the financial access mechanism. Policy implications are discussed in the light of Sustainable Development Goals.
    Keywords: Africa; Finance; Gender; Inclusive development
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2020–01
  9. By: Mauro Arcese (Bank of Italy); Domenico Di Giulio (Bank of Italy); Vitangelo Lasorella (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: By leveraging the progress of information technology and computer networks, Real Time Gross Settlement systems (RTGS), which first appeared in the early 1990s, have quickly become the standard for the settlement of interbank payments in central bank money. However, the market of retail payments still relies on batch-based netting systems, as the huge volume of retail payments makes the architecture of a typical RTGS impractical in this context. The Eurosystem’s decision to provide a settlement service for instant payments has laid the foundation for the transformation of retail systems into real-time systems. A new design for settlement engines is needed, which should now be capable of settling an extremely high volume of payments in real time, while also operating continuously and exposing low transaction costs. This need has been the main driver for the design of the TIPS (Target Instant Payment Settlement) engine, a distributed, event-driven architecture based on principles of reactive applications and running on Linux/x86 commodity systems for cost efficiency. This paper shows how the traditional design of a mostly centralized, vertically scalable RTGS can be replaced by a distributed, horizontally scalable system, provided that the proper mix of parallel and sequential computation is used.
    Keywords: TIPS, RTGS, distributed systems
    Date: 2021–03

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