nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒09‒13
eighteen papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Assessing the relationship between the ICT development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe using regression models: policy implications By Perez Martinez, Jorge; Hernandez-Gil, Felix; Peña, Daniel
  2. Net Neutrality and High Speed Broadband Networks: Evidence from OECD Countries By Briglauer, Wolfgang; Cambini, Carlo; Gugler, Klaus; Stocker, Volker
  3. Climate Protection Potentials of Digitalized Production Processes: Microeconometric Evidence By Axenbeck, Janna; Niebel, Thomas
  4. The Impact of Healthcare IT on Clinical Quality, Productivity and Workers By Ari Bronsoler; Joseph J. Doyle Jr.; John Van Reenen
  5. Perception of innovation in Spain By Gijón, Covadonga; Albarrán Lozano, Irene; Molina, José Manuel
  6. Cyber incidents, security measures and financial returns: Empirical evidence from Dutch firms By Milena Dinkova; Ramy El-Dardiry; Bastiaan Overvest
  7. Who Works from Home after First Declaration State of Emergency? By Fumio Ohtake; Hiroki Kato
  8. Satisfaction with e-Learning Systems during the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Comparative Study By Nikou, Shahrokh; Kim, Seongcheol; Lim, Chulmin; Maslov, Ilia
  9. Multinational enterprises and intangible capital By Charles Cadestin; Alexander Jaax; Sébastien Miroudot; Carmen Zürcher
  10. Bork's Hoax: Antitrust and the Internet Market By Alleman, James
  11. Impact of Broadband Quality on Median Income and Unemployment: Evidence from Sweden By Hasbi, Maude; Bohlin, Erik
  12. Online education adoption in Spain 2008-2019. Drivers and impediments By López, Rafael; Valarezo, Ángel; Pérez-Amaral, Teodosio
  13. Digital Source Adoption and Information-Seeking Behaviours of Entrepreneurs: A Systematic Literature Review By Orrensalo, Thao; Nikou, Shahrokh
  14. Comparative Techno-Economic Evaluation of 5G mobile network deployments in different scale urban areas By Laitsou, Eleni; Katsianis, Dimitris
  15. Rural Broadband and the Unrecovered Cost of Streaming Video Entertainment By Layton, Roslyn; Potgieter, Petrus
  16. Global value chains and innovation networks in the fourth industrial era By MÜLLER Julian M.; POTTERS Lesley; RENTOCCHINI Francesco; TUEBKE Alexander
  17. The Professional Lens: What Online Job Advertisements Can Say About Occupational Task Profiles By Matteo Sostero; Enrique Fernández-Macías
  18. Non-routine Tasks and ICT tools in Telework By Toshihiro Okubo

  1. By: Perez Martinez, Jorge; Hernandez-Gil, Felix; Peña, Daniel
    Abstract: The relationship between the implantation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), agreed at the United Nations is studied using regression models based on indicators on the SDG achievement and on the ICT adoption. The 17 SDG and their specific indicators are analyzed paying special tension to the European countries. Results shows a high positive association between the general SDG achievement and the ICT adoption. The aspects that benefit most clearly from digitization are those related to social and economic progress, including those such as poverty reduction, health care, quality of education and industry improvement. However, the study also shows that digitalization is associated to a poor achievement in areas related to the natural environmental preservation and climate change fight, including among them those related to electronic waste and greenhouse gas emissions. This is probably mostly due to the indirect effects.
    Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals,Information and Communication Technologies,Inclusive Internet Index,European Union
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Briglauer, Wolfgang; Cambini, Carlo; Gugler, Klaus; Stocker, Volker
    Abstract: Network neutrality regulations are intended to preserve the Internet as a non-discriminatory, public network and an open platform for innovation. Whereas the U.S. recently reversed its regulations, thus returning to a less strict regime, the EU has maintained its course and recently revised implementation guidelines for its strict and rather interventionist net neutrality regulations. To this day, there exist only a few U.S.-focused empirical investigations on the impact of network neutrality regulations, based on rather broad measures of investment activities. Our paper provides the first estimation results on the causal impact of net neutrality regulations on new high-speed (fiber-optic cable-based) infrastructure investment by Internet service providers (ISPs) and on related consumer subscription to fiber-based broadband connection services. We use a comprehensive OECD panel data set for 32 countries for the period from 2003 to 2019 and various panel estimation techniques, including instrumental variables estimation. Our empirical analysis is based on theoretical underpinnings derived from a simplified model in a two-sided market framework. Based on our theoretical analysis, we derive testable propositions for monopolistic and duopolistic ISPs. We find empirical evidence that net neutrality regulations exert a direct negative impact on fiber investments and an indirect negative impact on fiber subscriptions. Our results, which are in line with our theoretical propositions, strongly suggest that policymakers should refrain from imposing strict net neutrality regulations.
    Keywords: Net neutrality,high-speed broadband,investment,consumer subscriptions,OECD panel data
    JEL: L52 L96 L98
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Axenbeck, Janna; Niebel, Thomas
    Abstract: Although information and communication technologies (ICT) consume energy themselves, they are considered to have the potential to improve overall energy efficiency within economic sectors. While previous empirical evidence is based on aggregated data, this is the first large-scale empirical study on the relationship between ICT and energy efficiency at the firm level. For this purpose, we employ administrative panel data on 28,734 manufacturing firms from German Statistical Offices of the Federation and the Federal States collected between 2009 and 2017. Using software capital intensity as an indicator for the firm-level degree of digitalization, we analyze whether an increase thereof relates to energy efficiency improvements. Results confirm the statistically significant negative link between software capital and energy use. However, the relationship is highly inelastic and does not suggest economic relevance. Therefore, we conclude that effects of ICT on energy use are not large enough to substantially improve energy efficiency.
    Keywords: Digitalization,ICT,Firm Level,Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Ari Bronsoler; Joseph J. Doyle Jr.; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Adoption of health information and communication technologies (“HICT”) has surged over the past two decades. We survey the medical and economic literature on HICT adoption and its impact on clinical outcomes, productivity and labor. We find that HICT improves clinical outcomes and lowers healthcare costs, but (i) the effects are modest so far, (ii) it takes time for these effects to materialize, and (iii) there is much variation in the impact. More evidence on the causal effects of HICT on productivity is needed to guide further adoption. There is little econometric work directly investigating the impact of HICT on labor, but what there is suggests no substantial negative effects on employment and earnings. Overall, while healthcare is “exceptional” in many ways, we are struck by the similarities to the wider findings on ICT and productivity stressing the importance of complementary factors (e.g. management and skills) in determining HICT impacts.
    JEL: I12 I18 J21 J24 O14
    Date: 2021–09
  5. By: Gijón, Covadonga; Albarrán Lozano, Irene; Molina, José Manuel
    Abstract: The present paper analyses the perception of innovation of individuals in Spain and the factors associated with it. Data from 2015 and 2018 about individuals from the Spanish surveys are used. The data include several measures of innovation perception, gender, age, educational level, and other socioeconomic and technical variables. The aim of this paper is to determine the perception of innovation, in its different aspects, of Spanish people. To this end, several ordered logit models have been developed to determine how much the socio-demographic characteristics and other aspects of innovation affect the perception of innovation. Results indicate that people have a better perception of innovation if they are training in innovation or have good Information and Communication Technology skills. Among the main results, there is evidence of a gender gap in the perception of innovation, as well as differences according to digital skills.
    Keywords: perception,innovation,survey data,ordered logit
    JEL: C21 C25 D12 D83 J24 L63 L86 L96 M15
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Milena Dinkova; Ramy El-Dardiry (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Bastiaan Overvest (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: This CPB discussion paper investigates the cybersecurity of Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises, the security measures they take and the relationship thereof with financial results. Often, small and medium-sized enterprises are identified as a particularly vulnerable group for cyber incidents. However, there is not much academic research focusing on the cyber security costs for those firms. In this paper, we employ representative survey data on ICT use and administrative tax record data on Dutch firms to understand how cybersecurity investments relate to the probability of cyber incidents and firm profitability. This dataset allows us to control for firm size, industry, and IT organization.
    JEL: D22 D83 G14 M15
    Date: 2020–03
  7. By: Fumio Ohtake (Center for Infectious Disease Education and Research (CiDER) and Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University.); Hiroki Kato (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: The Japanese government has promoted the introduction of working from home, having implemented elementary, junior high, and high school closure and the declaration of a state of emergency to prevent the epidemic of COVID-19. This research examines who has worked from home since the first declaration of a state of emergency, and how the productivity of such people has been changed, using the JILPT survey. The main results are as follows. First, after the first declaration was lifted, workers with clear work evaluation criteria have been more likely to work from home. Second, workers with many meetings and with jobs centered on desk work, who have increased opportunities to use ICT-based video conferencing due to the state of emergency, have tended to work from home even after the first state of emergency was lifted. Third, we cannot observe that the membership-based system, which is the traditional employment system in Japan, hindered working from home. Fourth, workers with a bad surrounding environment for working from home (existence of family members living together and equipment of working from home such as the Internet) are less likely to work from home. Fifth, subtracting biases caused by unobservables, we expect that working from home does not affect monthly income, but has a negative effect on working hours over time.
    Keywords: Working from home, ICT, Membership-based system, COVID-19, Declaration state of emergency
    JEL: J01 J24 M12
    Date: 2021–09
  8. By: Nikou, Shahrokh; Kim, Seongcheol; Lim, Chulmin; Maslov, Ilia
    Abstract: Higher education institutions have increasingly been challenged in providing their core services of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. As such, many higher education institutions, if not all, have shifted towards distance learning and e-learning using learning management systems. In this paper, based on a comparative study among Finnish and South Korean university students, we aim to investigate students' level of satisfaction with e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on a data set of 256 students from Finland and South Korea, the results of structural equation modelling (SEM) showed that all three of the COVID-19-related factors explored had a significant effect on students' level of satisfaction with e-learning. In addition, the SEM results showed that students' level of satisfaction with e-learning systems is affected by the level of students' information literacy skills as well as the information technology (quality and accessibility) used to access the e-learning systems. We also found interesting differences between Finnish and South Korean students, from the perspective of path model analysis. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Charles Cadestin (OECD); Alexander Jaax (OECD); Sébastien Miroudot (OECD); Carmen Zürcher (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the role of intangible capital in global value chains (GVCs) by focusing on the role of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their foreign affiliates in value capture through intangible assets. Industry-level data suggest that foreign affiliates of MNEs generate more income through intangible capital than domestic-owned firms. Intangible returns from foreign affiliates are found both in the host economy and in foreign-owned firms in other countries participating in the GVC. Some heterogeneity is observed across GVCs with returns to intangible capital of foreign-owned firms concentrated in key manufacturing (chemicals including pharmaceuticals, food products, ICT and electronics, and motor vehicles) and services GVCs (finance and insurance, other business services, wholesale and retail, and telecoms). Five case studies (Adidas, AstraZeneca, Rocket Internet, Starbucks and Tata Consultancy Services) complement the analysis by looking at the role of intangible capital in the GVC of specific MNEs.
    Keywords: factor income, foreign affiliates, global value chains, intangible capital, multinational enterprises
    Date: 2021–09–09
  10. By: Alleman, James
    Abstract: Robert Bork's Antitrust Paradox (1978) has been justification for lack of antitrust behavior for over four decades. His test essentially asks if consumers are harmed by the pricing practices of the firm in the market in which they purchase the good or service. Even if these firms are monopoly or oligopolies in their fields with huge economic rents, if they pass this test, no action is taken against them. "Bigness is not bad." This narrow view, inter alia, ignores two- and multisided markets (MSM) where the appearance of "no harm" is addressed to only one side of the market. The correct view is to examine all the markets impacting potential harm to consumers. It illustrates the harm which is "free" to the users, but advertisers pay dearly for the ability to micro-focus on potential consumers of their products. Facebook and Google are used as examples. This advertising cost is added into the sales price of the product, resulting in consumers being harmed by the embedded advertising costs in the products or services purchased. We argue here, using Bork's own criterion - except to expand it to the other side of the market and eliminating producer's surplus - that much needed antitrust action has been ignored by this narrow criterion. This analysis indicates that antitrust action is long overdue after considering two-sided markets. In addition, we argue that his "consumer welfare" criterion is misleading and liable to deceive, thus the hoax. The Bork critique is a hoax in two ways: Bork's analysis does not include the other side of the market. The cost of advertising has to be included in the price of the products being sold in order for the firm to remain in business. So, clearly, the price of goods and services is increased by the cost of advertising, thus reducing consumers' surplus. The second flaw is Bork's definition of "consumer welfare" - it includes the economic rents of the firm - all at a cost to consumers. Enhancing the wealth (profits) of corporations in the name of efficiency was not the purpose of the antitrust laws. We address the Bork Paradox on its own terms by examining the second side of the market which harms consumers indirectly by increasing the price of the products and services they purchase. Using the corrected Bork metric - both sides of the market and no producer's surplus - the estimated loss of consumers' welfare in $60.4 and $43.7 billion respectively from Google and Facebook, respectively.
    Keywords: Advertising,Antitrust,Bork,competition,consumers' surplus,digital markets,Information and Communications Technology (ICT),internet,platform economics,monopoly,regulation,two-sided/multisided markets
    JEL: D42 D43 K21 L12 L13 L22 L51 L96
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Hasbi, Maude; Bohlin, Erik
    Abstract: Based on a unique and exhaustive database, including micro-level cross-sectional data on 23 million observations over nine years, from 2009 to 2017, we assess whether broadband quality has an impact on income and unemployment reduction. Overall, the results do not show any significant effect of download speed on either income or the unemployment rate. However, after distinguishing between educational attainment and the city size, we obtained heterogeneous results. While we highlight a substitution effect between low-skilled workers and broadband in smaller cities, we also show that broadband quality has a positive impact on unemployment reduction for low-skilled workers in bigger cities. However, the model predicts a negative effect of broadband quality on both the median income and the unemployment rate in areas having a higher proportion of college graduates. This result tends to support the analyses showing that, with the progress made in machine learning, artificial intelligence and the increasing availability of big data, job computerization is expanding to the sphere of high-income cognitive jobs.
    Keywords: Broadband Quality,Fibre,Income,Unemployment,Artificial Intelligence
    JEL: L13 L50 L96
    Date: 2021
  12. By: López, Rafael; Valarezo, Ángel; Pérez-Amaral, Teodosio
    Abstract: Online learning and training are gaining momentum worldwide by reducing the temporal and spatial limitations associated with the traditional form of face-to-face education. Online education improves access to education and training, especially during the present Covid-19 pandemic. This article focuses on online education adoption in Spain. A large and representative panel database from the ICT in the household's survey by the National Institute of Statistics is used. The first objective is to provide an econometric model for the adoption of online education. Next is to measure the effects of relevant observable individual socioeconomic variables on adoption. A Heckman selection model using panel data for 2008-2019 allows estimating the impact of differences in gender, age, education, digital skills, habitat and income. The drivers and impediments have the expected signs and plausible sizes. The paper concludes with policy recommendations and suggestions for further research.
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Orrensalo, Thao; Nikou, Shahrokh
    Abstract: Digitalisation and its impact on businesses - including access to information through digital sources - have been rapidly recognised from different research disciplines. Digitalisation helps entrepreneurs to gather and manage information, to create intensive resources, to reduce transaction costs, and to gain rapid access to the flow of information. A growing demand and use of digital information sources, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. indicate a need for further investigation of the effect of digitalisation on changing and transforming entrepreneurs' information-seeking behaviours (ISBs), opportunities, and challenges. Furthermore, the concept of critical -21st-century skills has been found to be crucial to the effectiveness of digital transformation in the entrepreneurship field. From this perspective, this paper carries out a systematic literature review on the research conducted on digitalisation and entrepreneurs' information-seeking behaviours. Through this systematic literature review, this paper seeks answers to two objectives: (i) to review previous studies on digitalisation and ISBs within the entrepreneurship literature and on understanding the relation between these two concepts, and (ii) to assess the role of critical -21st-century skills on entrepreneurs' decision regarding information source selection. The review was conducted in three main phases: planning the review, conducting the review, and reporting the review. In the first step, we defined the inclusion and exclusion criteria. With the specific search terms, the selection included academic English publications for the period 1990-2020. Based on the criteria, three main databases - Web of Science, Scopus, and Ebsco - were searched, and in total 745 publications were retrieved. After removing duplicate and irrelevant articles, the final dataset included 39 articles. We then reviewed the articles and classified them into five main themes for further analysis. The themes were (i) entrepreneurs' information sources/services, (ii) entrepreneurs' -21st-century skills, (iii) entrepreneurs' access to information, (iv) entrepreneurs' environmental scanning, and (v) the ICT adoption behaviours of entrepreneurs. A future research agenda is also provided.
    Keywords: 21st-century skills,digitalisation,Entrepreneurship,Information source selection,Information-seeking behaviour,Systematic literature review
    Date: 2021
  14. By: Laitsou, Eleni; Katsianis, Dimitris
    Abstract: Mobile communication technology is moving into the fifth-generation (5G) which is expected to overcome the new challenges that have emerged with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the exponential growth in demand for mobile traffic. Therefore, the Mobile Networks Operators (MNOs) are planning to improve their networks in order to achieve the required standards for capacity, coverage and quality of service. In this paper, a techno-economic study is performed to assess the feasibility of the deployment of a 5G mobile network in different types of urban areas depending on population density. In each of these different cases, the conditions are studied under which such an investment can be economically viable through increased revenues and reduced costs. The findings of this study could become an important tool for decision and policymakers in investment strategies for 5G mobile networks.
    Keywords: 5G mobile network,techno-economic evaluation,TONIC model,urban
    Date: 2021
  15. By: Layton, Roslyn; Potgieter, Petrus
    Abstract: The paper described the challenge of provision of rural broadband provision by examining the economics of 4 fiber to the home networks in different parts of the US. It shows how streaming video entertainment is the largest and growing category of traffic and which puts unique demands on the network. The paper described the history, policy, and economics of traditional end user pricing models flat, and uniform (over service area) based on speed tiers, and their shortcomings to support continued investment. It introduced the notion of the Big Streamers, the five largest video streaming providers and their content distribution practices. The document also reviewed the components of a rural broadband network. It reviewed traffic data from the networks, calculated revenue and cost, defined amounts of overage, and projected future shortfalls. This analysis demonstrates that rural networks are heavily burdened by huge volumes of streaming content which is turned into revenue not by the broadband providers but by the Big Streamers. The policy solutions section introduced the three types of response and their implications. The current model of flat and uniform (over service area) pricing (even with subsidy) is likely to become unsustainable for rural broadband provision. The paper contributes to the ongoing policy discussion of rural broadband and closing the digital divide.
    Date: 2021
  16. By: MÜLLER Julian M.; POTTERS Lesley (European Commission - JRC); RENTOCCHINI Francesco (European Commission - JRC); TUEBKE Alexander (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The successful implementation of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) within the European Union (EU) should build upon existing global innovation networks (GINs) and global value chains (GVCs) and the ecosystem of EU firms, especially in the manufacturing industry where I4.0 could play an important role.For the EU, which has a large share of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are key to competitiveness in its main sectors, it is vital to integrate SMEs into I4.0 by ensuring they benefit from their efforts in implementing it, in order to capture, create and offer value. It is important to address training, requalification and workers’ concerns about I4.0 in order to support its implementation while maintaining the EU social model.Harnessing the EU’s strength in industrial application, while bearing in mind its lag in traditional ICT industries, could make I4.0 a viable policy option ensuring future leadership of the European economy, if certain factors discussed in this policy brief are included in future industrial policies.
    Keywords: Global value chains, innovation
    Date: 2021–08
  17. By: Matteo Sostero (European Commission – JRC); Enrique Fernández-Macías (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: Data from online job advertisements are increasingly used in the emerging area of “skills intelligence” to describe labour market dynamics and the demand for skills in different occupations. Collecting this data involves gathering unstructured information from the internet and processing it into structured datasets, which may provide a biased description of the labour market. We present a framework for these different sources of bias, in terms of representativeness of occupations and their task content. We analyse the Nova UK dataset of online job advertisements from Burning Glass Technologies, containing over 60m individual job ads for the United Kingdom from 2012–2020. We compare the occupation task profiles embedded in this data with the JRC-Eurofound Task Database, through a new Skill-Task Dictionary. The dictionary classifies the rich but unstructured information on “skills” describing individual occupations into the hierarchical Task Taxonomy developed by the JRC and Eurofound, and measured through occupation surveys. In general, we find that the task profile implied in job advertisements is relatively consistent with the EU Task Database across most occupations, especially for intellectual and social tasks, and for tools of work. However, online job advertisements in general (and Nova UK in particular) tend to focus especially on professional occupations, which are relatively better represented in their numbers and in their variety of skills and tasks, relative to less qualified occupations. We enumerate several types of bias that can occur with this data, and discuss possible future applications.
    Keywords: Skills, Tasks, Online Job Advertisements, Job Vacancies
    Date: 2021–08
  18. By: Toshihiro Okubo (Faculty of Economics Keio University)
    Abstract: Telework has spread during the pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Using a unique individual-level survey in Japan, we investigate how telework has changed the way people live and work and what impediments hamper telework use. As a result, we find that telework allows workers to spend more time on leisure and their families. Compared to routine task workers, non-routine (abstract) task workers are more suited to telework. However, once engaged in telework, non-routine task workers have fewer opportunities to communicate with coworkers, which is a serious impediment that tends to hamper work performance and compromise mental health.
    Keywords: telework, COVID-19, survey, non-routine tasks, impediments, efficiency
    JEL: J20 J24
    Date: 2021–08–31

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