nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒09‒06
ten papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Threshold Effects of ICT Access and Usage in Burkinabe and Ghanaian Households By Alhassan A-W Karakara; Evans S. Osabuohien
  2. Is ICT Still Polarising Labour Demand after the Crisis? By David Pichler; Robert Stehrer
  3. The impact of digitalisation on productivity: Firm-level evidence from the Netherlands By Martin Borowiecki; Jon Pareliussen; Daniela Glocker; Eun Jung Kim; Michael Polder; Iryna Rud
  4. Telework in the spread of COVID-19 By Toshihiro Okubo
  5. Manufacturing and Information Society in Serbia: Current Status and Prospects By Bukvić, Rajko; Petrović, Dragan
  6. Tilted Platforms: Rental Housing Technology and the Rise of Urban Big Data Oligopolies By Boeing, Geoff; Besbris, Max; Wachsmuth, David; Wegmann, Jake
  7. Effectiveness and efficiency of state aid for new broadband networks: Evidence from OECD member states By Wolfgang Briglauer; Michał Grajek
  8. Can Telemedicine be Effective in Responding to Local Health Needs? Lights and Shadows from the Picture of Piedmont By Bibiana Scelfo; Marco Grosso; Marco Dalmasso; Stefania Bellelli; Chiara Rivoiro; Valeria Romano; Sylvie Occelli
  9. Technological Impact on Real Estate Investing: Robots vs. Humans New Applications for Organizational and Portfolio Strategies By Lawrence Souza; Olga Koroleva; Alicia Becker; China Martin; Nate Derrick
  10. Energy-Efficiency Investments in Homes: Do Digital Environments Increase Adoption? By Tije van Casteren; Ioulia Ossokina; Theo Arentze

  1. By: Alhassan A-W Karakara (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana); Evans S. Osabuohien (CEPDeR, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Information and communication technology (ICT) has a crucial role in the individual, businesses and cooperative lives of citizens. Many studies on ICT access tend to concentrate on the supply side of improving access to ICTs; however, limited efforts have been made to examine the households’ demand side. Thus, this study contributes to the extant literature by investigating the demand side of ICT access by households. It also examines the socioeconomic characteristics that affect the households’ access and usage of ICTs, which create a somewhat digital divide between 'ICT have' and 'have not' in Burkina Faso and Ghana. It employs Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for both Burkina Faso and Ghana 2014 in achieving its objectives. The results, among others, underscore different threshold effects in access to ICTs Burkinabe and Ghanaian households. Thus, to enhance the households' ICT access, and consequently, usage the features of the households should be taken into consideration when developing ICT access policies.
    Keywords: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Households, ICT access and Usage, Threshold effect
    JEL: O14 R22
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: David Pichler; Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: The impact of ICT capital accumulation and digitisation on labour demand and wage structures has changed in recent years, according to some of the literature on the subject. We analyse the impact of ICT capital accumulation based on recent data differentiating between the period before and after the global financial crisis. Methodologically, we draw on Michaels, Natraj and van Reenen (2014) and are able to corroborate their findings for the period 1980-2004, whereas we find distinctly different patterns since 2011. Results suggest a negative relationship between changes in ICT intensity and the wage share for high-skilled workers, whereas medium-skilled workers were the main beneficiaries in sectors that experienced a more intensive digitisation process. These results are chiefly driven by the dynamics in the Central and Eastern European economies and the service industries. The effect of digitisation on low-skilled workers does not reveal any robust significant impact.
    Keywords: ICT capital, skill polarisation, wage patterns
    JEL: J31 O33
    Date: 2021–09
  3. By: Martin Borowiecki; Jon Pareliussen; Daniela Glocker; Eun Jung Kim; Michael Polder; Iryna Rud
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of intangibles and digital adoption for firm-level productivity in the Netherlands drawing on a newly constructed panel data set of Dutch enterprises. It provides robust evidence on productivity effects of intangibles and digital adoption using firms’ exposure to sector-wide advances in intangible intensity and digital adoption as an instrument. Results show that intangibles as measured by levels of digital skill intensity have a positive and statistically significant impact on firm-level productivity growth in the service sector and for younger firms. Productivity benefits from software investment are strong for low productivity firms. Together, these findings highlight the potential of intangibles to support the productivity catch-up of laggard enterprises. The evidence also suggests that productivity benefits from ICT hardware investment and the uptake of high-speed broadband are positive and sizeable.
    Keywords: digitalisation, intangibles, productivity, skills
    JEL: D24 E22 J24 O33
    Date: 2021–09–08
  4. By: Toshihiro Okubo (Faculty of Economics Keio University)
    Abstract: In the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), people have been requested to work from home with information and communication technology (ICT) tools, i.e. telework. This paper investigates which factors (infection of COVID-19, individual characteristics, task characteristics, working environments, and COVID-19 countermeasure policies) are associated with telework use in Japan. Using the unique panel survey on telework, we construct occupational indices for teleworkability and the risk exposure to infection. Our estimation finds that although telework use remains low in Japan, educated, high ICTskilled, younger, and female workers who engage in less teamwork and less routine tasks tend to use telework. Working environments such as the richness of IT communication tools, digitalized offices, flexible-hour working systems, and companywide reform for teleworking can all promote telework use.
    Keywords: telework, Covid-19, teleworkability, tasks, working environments
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2021–08–18
  5. By: Bukvić, Rajko; Petrović, Dragan
    Abstract: In modern science it is generally accepted that ICT (information and communication technologies) are important drivers, which ‘enables’ technologies that have a broad impact on many sectors of the economy and social life. In this framework, the measuring the level of ICT development, their economic and social impact, and the country’s readiness to use them must be of great importance, especially for the estimation of the building of the information society. In the first part of the paper some indicators of the use of ICT technologies in Serbia are presented. Further, we present some data of the ICT sector of Serbian economy (number of employees, share in the GDP, foreign trade and foreign direct investments, as well the number of companies). At the end we present the results of a research (Goloventchik and Zhyrkevich), in which the composite index of the digital transformation was constructed on the basis of nine broad used indicators. In the conclusion we emphasize that the building of information society in Serbia is not yet on the satisfactory level.
    Keywords: digital economy, information and communication technologies, small European economies, Serbia, households, manufacturing
    JEL: D80 O11 O31 O52 O57
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Boeing, Geoff (Northeastern University); Besbris, Max; Wachsmuth, David; Wegmann, Jake
    Abstract: This article interprets emerging scholarship on rental housing platforms—particularly the most well-known and used short- and long-term rental housing platforms—and considers how the technological processes connecting both short-term and long-term rentals to the platform economy are transforming cities. It discusses potential policy approaches to more equitably distribute benefits and mitigate harms. We argue that information technology is not value-neutral. While rental housing platforms may empower data analysts and certain market participants, the same cannot be said for all users or society at large. First, user-generated online data frequently reproduce the systematic biases found in traditional sources of housing information. Evidence is growing that the information broadcasting potential of rental housing platforms may increase rather than mitigate sociospatial inequality. Second, technology platforms curate and shape information according to their creators' own financial and political interests. The question of which data—and people—are hidden or marginalized on these platforms is just as important as the question of which data are available. Finally, important differences in benefits and drawbacks exist between short-term and long-term rental housing platforms, but are underexplored in the literature: this article unpacks these differences and proposes policy recommendations.
    Date: 2021–08–21
  7. By: Wolfgang Briglauer (Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU)); Michał Grajek (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)
    Abstract: The deployment of new broadband networks (NBNs) based on fiber-optic transmission technologies promises high gains in terms of productivity and economic growth, and has attracted subsidies worth billions from governments around the world in the form of various state aid programs. Yet, the effectiveness and the efficiency of such programs remains largely unstudied. We employ panel data from 32 OECD countries during 2002-2019 to provide robust empirical evidence of both. We find that state aid significantly increases NBNs by facilitating the deployment of new connections to 22% of households in the short term and 39.2% in the long term. By comparing the actual amounts of state aid support to the estimated impact on GDP growth, we also find it to be highly cost efficient, as the programs break even after three years on average.
    Keywords: Fiber optic technology, state aid, ex-post evaluation, efficiency, OECD countries
    JEL: C51 C54 H25 L52 O38
    Date: 2021–08–23
  8. By: Bibiana Scelfo (IRES - Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte); Marco Grosso (Città della Salute e della Scienza University-Hospital); Marco Dalmasso; Stefania Bellelli (IRES - Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte); Chiara Rivoiro (IRES - Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte); Valeria Romano (IRES - Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte); Sylvie Occelli (IRES - Istituto di Ricerche Economico Sociali del Piemonte)
    Abstract: Telemedicine (TM) allows health professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in remote locations using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) thus enabling healthcare access and equity. However, the process of digitalisation strongly depends on local contexts. With the ultimate aim of planning an accre-ditation path for TM services, the Regional Health Direction of Piedmont conducted, in 2017, an investigation through a questionnaire to the local Health Units, which explored several domains as defined by the national guidelines. This survey returned a picture of the implementation status of TM services over the regional territories. The results show that a rich experience exists in Piedmont, however the maturity levels of the different services are wide-ranging, suggesting that central governance is needed to ensure a solid framework for appropriate and sustainable services and to make their integration feasible in the regional Health System.
    Abstract: La télémédecine (TM) permet aux professionnels de la santé d'évaluer, diagnostiquer et traiter des patients éloignés des services de santé. Toutefois, le processus de numérisation dépend fortement des contextes locaux. Dans le but de mettre en place la procédure pour accréditer les services de TM, la Direction régionale de la santé du Piémont a mené, en 2017, une enquête en soumettant un questionnaire aux agences locales de santé, qui a exploré plusieurs domaines de service comme définis par les directives nationales. Cette enquête a permis de dresser un tableau sur l'état de la mise en œuvre des services de TM sur le territoire régional. Les résultats montrent qu'il existe en Piémont une riche expérience, mais que le niveau de maturité des services est très différent. Ils suggèrent qu'une gouvernance est nécessaire pour assurer des services appropriés et durables, et rendre possible leur intégration dans le système de santé régional.
    Keywords: Telemedicine,Policy making,eHealth,Public health,Socio-technical systems,télémédecine,élaboration des politiques,santé numérique,santé publique,systèmes sociotechniques
    Date: 2020–11–18
  9. By: Lawrence Souza; Olga Koroleva; Alicia Becker; China Martin; Nate Derrick
    Abstract: Goal of this paper is to present a roadmap for real estate operating companies to transform themselves into tech-centric enterprises. The research focuses on the impact of technology on physical real estate assets and organizational structures. The revolution in real estate technologicalization will come from new ideological thought and management paradigms. Over the last 20 years, the real estate industry has been affected by the introduction of new technologies; however, over the last 5 years, and the last 5 months due to COVID-19, has seen a massive transformation in the use and utilization of space. New technologies are rapidly changing how investors, tenants and managers use, invest, and finance property. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, blockchain, virtual reality, tablets, cell phones, apps, 5G, etc. is putting pressure on real estate organizations to change. These changes are long overdue and the future, modern real estate company, will take a hybrid proptech form. A company focused on delivering high quality products and services to its clients in real time. The revolutionary change for the industry will be in its organizational and industry structure, away from the traditional hierarchical-mechanistic form, to a virtual-open-agile-innovative organizational form. Due to the current state of the economy, effects of the pandemic, and rapid adoption of new technologies will radically change the way real estate companies are organized, how they add value and innovate, and how they are led by management. The revolution in real estate technologization will not come from the application of these technologies, but from the rapid change of ideological thought and management-leadership style and culture.
    Keywords: Applications of Technology to Real Estate; Real Estate Technology; Real Estate Technology Case Studies; Real Estate Technology Company Organizational Structure
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2021–01–01
  10. By: Tije van Casteren; Ioulia Ossokina; Theo Arentze
    Abstract: In the coming decades, many countries need to improve the energy efficiency of their building stock, to realize the climate and renewable energy goals. In the Netherlands, this involves more than 5 million dwellings and many billions euros in costs. A considerable part of these costs has to be carried by home owners, and the challenge is to motivate them to timely invest in energy retrofitting. Households experience various barriers on their way to energy retrofitting of homes. Most prominent are: a high cost of gathering and verifying the information, financial constraints, risk aversion (Gerarden et al, 2017, Busse et al., 2013, Allcott and Wozny, 2014, Cattaneo, 2019). In the recent years various attempts have been made to address these barriers exploiting the possibilities of new digital communication technologies. Supported by (local) governments, new online platforms provide home owners looking for energy-efficiency investments with different services. These include: tailor-made advice on best energy-efficiency investments in specific homes; preselection of suppliers of a certain chosen technology (e.g. insulation, solar panels, high return boilers); setting up a collective purchase campaign for a neighbourhood, etc. There exists a small literature studying the effectiveness of online platforms in reducing consumer search and verification costs for products (Goldfarb and Tucker, 2019). For various domains (airlines, book stores, holiday homes) studies show that digital environments increase the share of successful matches between customers and suppliers. Still, not much is known yet to what degree this also holds for digital platforms that support purchasing of new home energy technologies. Further, little attention has been given so far to the heterogeneity of the consumers: for which groups of customers online platforms work well or for which not. Our study aims to fill these two knowledge gaps. We exploit unique data from a Dutch online platform that supports home owners in their collective purchase of various energy efficient home technologies. The data include information on some 10.000 platform participants and 300 collective purchase campaigns during the period 2013-2020. The data are merged on household level to the restricted access information about the socio-economic characteristics of the households and to their energy consumption. We study the determinants of the energy-efficiency investment choices households make on the platforms. These determinants include: the socio-economic characteristics of the households, their energy consumption pattern, the type of energy-efficient technology that is being purchased, etc. This paper has practical implications. Research shows that households differ in their energy consumption patterns and in their attitude towards energy transition (e.g. Albert and Maasoumy, 2016; Motlagh et al., 2019; Ossokina et al., 2020). It is therefore important to provide customized information to the consumers and select precise tools for specic household groups. Our study provides insights on how to do this using online environments that are being used more and more to support and stimulate energy transition in homes.
    Keywords: digital environments; effect measurement; energy-efficient investments in homes; microeconometrics
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2021–01–01

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