nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒11‒01
five papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. The impact of digitalization on poverty alleviation in Africa By Kohnert, Dirk
  2. Current and Prospective Expansion of the Sharing Economy in Albania By Hysa, Eglantina; Kruja, Alba Demneri; Shiko, Vera
  3. It Takes Money to Make MPs: Evidence from 150 Years of British Campaign Spending By Julia Cage; Edgard Dewitte
  4. Georgia: Reality and Future Perspectives of the Sharing Economy Development By Kikilashvili, Maka
  5. Exposures and Behavioral Responses to Wildfire Smoke By Marshall Burke; Sam Heft-Neal; Jessica Li; Anne Driscoll; Patrick W. Baylis; Matthieu Stigler; Joakim Weill; Jennifer Burney; Jeff Wen; Marissa Childs; Carlos Gould

  1. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: Digitalization in Sub-Saharan Africa enhanced the accessibility of communications by the majority of the poor who had been excluded among others from social media, independent information channels, mobile banking and e-commerce. The creation of new economic opportunities, e.g. the pay-as-you-go business, and increased flow of information also boosted people’s self-esteem, sense of belonging and citizenship. The smartphone became the main source of internet access which also bridged the divide between urban and rural communities. Thus, mobile telecommunications contributed positively to economic growth even in less developed regions, and there is apparently still ample space for further improvement. Yet, Africans were also confronted with new forms of the digital divide between the poor and the rich, between advanced and less advanced African countries, as well as between Africa and the rest of the world. Moreover, the digitalization of the public sphere became a double-edged sword. Autocratic governments like Sudan and Togo shut down the internet during elections to facilitate the rigging of the polls. The lack of transparency and objectivity fuelled fake news which rapidly spread in social media, notably in times of the Corona crisis. Last, but not least, not everybody surfing in the internet had the same access to quality information. For example, disinformation was supported clandestinely by foreign powers to destabilize political regimes, or spy software was provided to governments to control the opposition. Both false news in social media and spy-software impeded poverty relieve in Africa significantly.
    Keywords: Digitalization, Africa, Sub-Sahara Africa, digital inclusion, poverty alleviation, pro-poor growth, transparency, social media, fake news, African Studies,
    JEL: D31 D63 D83 E26 F35 F54 F63 G21 N37 O17 O33 O55 Q48 Z13
    Date: 2021–10–19
  2. By: Hysa, Eglantina; Kruja, Alba Demneri; Shiko, Vera
    Abstract: Globalisation has brought immense changes to the national and international economic structure. The digital revolution and ICT expansion positively impacted the sharing economy development. In this regard, the most avant-garde countries in sharing economy seem to be the advanced countries. However, transitory countries such as Albania are making satisfactory progress as well. While being part of some global cases of sharing economy, Albania is also experiencing domestic incentives related with. The sectors involved in sharing economy are affiliated to different domains, including agriculture, tourism, healthcare, transportation, etc. Albania strongly embraced technology because of its relatively young population and the flexible education system adopting to the market needs. The Albanian government is doing well on the promotion and usage of public platforms, which are supportive of the sharing concept. Although not specifically for the sharing economy, the government of Albania has released some useful strategic plans to embed the necessary instruments and infrastructure to digitalisation. However, there is more to do for sharing economy in specific terms. The collaboration of three actors, businesses-academia-government, would bring to the Albanian market new capacities and additional added values.
    Keywords: Sharing Economy; Digitalisation; ICT Ecosystem; Triple Helix; Development; Case Study; Albania
    JEL: L86
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Julia Cage (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Edgard Dewitte (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We study electoral campaigns over the long run, through the lens of their spending. In particular, we ask whether changing media technologies and electoral environments impacted patterns of spending and their correlation with electoral results. To do so, we build a novel exhaustive dataset on general elections in the United Kingdom from 1857 to 2017, which includes information on campaign spending (itemized by expense categories), electoral outcomes and socio-demographic characteristics for 69, 042 election-constituency candidates. We start by providing new insights on the history of British political campaigns, in particular the growing importance of advertising material, including via digital means, to the detriment of paid staff and electoral meetings. We then show that there is a strong positive correlation between expenditures and votes, and that overall the magnitude of this relationship has strongly increased since the 1880s, with a peak in the last quarter of the 20th century. We link these transformations to changes in the conduct of campaigns, and to the introduction of new information technologies. We show in particular that the expansion of local radio and broadband Internet increased the sensitivity of the electoral results to differences in campaign spending. These results encourage greater contextualization in the drafting of campaign finance regulations.
    Keywords: Elections,Campaign finance,Electoral expenditures,Information technologies
    Date: 2021–09–01
  4. By: Kikilashvili, Maka
    Abstract: This article aims to present the Georgian reality regarding the sharing economy and its future trends based on the market players and already appeared innovative businesses through sharing platforms. The sharing economy, with its in-depth context, is not developed in Georgia either at the national governance or the societal level. However, the sharing of goods and services to each other was a good habit between Georgians historically. Moreover, in the world of the Internet, personal computers, and smartphones, it is simplified today for the parties of sharing to find and connect. However, may this kind of action be considered as a sharing economy, joint consumption, or collective economy? The present article discusses the issues about the sharing economy market in Georgia. There is an overview of the normative base and regulations referring to the sharing economy, expressed the readiness of sharing through people, describes the companies that operate in sharing market so far. There are recommendations for the government and the whole society for future development. M4 - Citavi
    Keywords: Customer Rights; Legislation; Platform; Shadow Economy; Sharing
    JEL: L86
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Marshall Burke; Sam Heft-Neal; Jessica Li; Anne Driscoll; Patrick W. Baylis; Matthieu Stigler; Joakim Weill; Jennifer Burney; Jeff Wen; Marissa Childs; Carlos Gould
    Abstract: The impacts of environmental change on human outcomes often depend on local exposures and behavioral responses that are challenging to observe with traditional administrative or sensor data. We show how data from private pollution sensors, cell phones, social media posts, and internet search activity yield new insights on exposures and behavioral responses during large wildfire smoke events across the US, a rapidly-growing environmental stressor. Health-protective behavior, mobility, and sentiment all respond to increasing ambient wildfire smoke concentrations, but responses differ by income. Indoor pollution monitors provide starkly different estimates of likely personal exposure during smoke events than would be inferred from traditional ambient outdoor sensors, with similar outdoor pollution levels generating >20x differences in average indoor PM2.5 concentrations. Our results suggest that the current policy reliance on self protection to mitigate health risks in the face of rising smoke exposure will result in modest and unequal benefits.
    JEL: Q5 Q53
    Date: 2021–10

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