nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒11‒08
five papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. AI and Jobs: Evidence from Online Vacancies By Daron Acemoglu; David Autor; Jonathon Hazell; Pascual Restrepo
  2. Informational Barriers to Market Access: Experimental Evidence from Liberian Firms By Jonas Hjort; Vinayak Iyer; Golvine de Rochambeau
  3. Supporting decent work and the transition towards formalization through technology-enhanced labour inspection international cooperation’s twenty-first century moment of truth By Gallo, Michael A.; Thinyane, Hannah.
  4. Fostering innovation in Iceland for the digital era By Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou; Eunha Cho
  5. From automation to databased business models - Digitalization and its links to innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises By Thomä, Jörg; Bischoff, Thore Sören

  1. By: Daron Acemoglu (MIT); David Autor (MIT); Jonathon Hazell (Princeton University and LSE); Pascual Restrepo (Boston University)
    Abstract: We study the impact of AI on labor markets, using establishment level data on vacancies with detailed occupational information comprising the near-universe of online vacancies in the US from 2010 onwards. We classify establishments as "AI exposed" when their workers engage in tasks that are compatible with current AI capabilities.We document rapid growth in AI related vacancies over 2010-2018 that is not limited to the Professional and Business Services and Information Technology sectors and is significantly greater in AI-exposed establishments. AI-exposed establishments are differentially eliminating vacancy postings that list a range of previously-posted skills while simultaneously posting skill requirements that were not previously listed.Establishment-level estimates suggest that AI-exposed establishments are reducing hiring in non-AI positions even as they expand AI hiring. However, we find no discernible impact of AI exposure on employment or wages at the occupation or industry level,implying that AI is currently substituting for humans in a subset of tasks but it is not yet having detectable aggregate labor market consequences.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence, displacement, labor, jobs, tasks, technology, wages
    JEL: J23 O33
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: Jonas Hjort (Columbia University [New York]); Vinayak Iyer (Columbia University [New York]); Golvine de Rochambeau (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Evidence suggests that firms in poor countries stagnate because they cannot access growth-conducive markets. We hypothesize that overlooked heterogeneity in marketing ability distorts market access. To investigate, we gave a random subset of Liberian firms vouchers for a week-long program that teaches how to sell to corporations, governments, and other large buyers. Firms that participate win about three times as many contracts, but only firms with access to the Internet benefit. We use a simple model and variation in online and offline demand to show evidence that this is because ICT dampens traditional information frictions, but not marketing barriers.
    Date: 2020–07–01
  3. By: Gallo, Michael A.; Thinyane, Hannah.
    Abstract: The development and expansion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has had far-reach- ing consequences for governance and the world of work, including how labour administrations and inspec- torates manage and deliver services. Labour inspection is an essential part of labour administration and ensures the enforcement of worker’s rights and compliance with relevant legal obligations. As such, labour inspection is one of the many different pathways available for reducing informality through inspectorates’ mandated information sharing and sanctioning activities.An increasing number of governments around the world are interested in exploring, promoting and unlock- ing the full potential of new technologies to facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy. Research and evidence on effective strategies, programs, and practical applications of ICTs in this area to date is limited and policymakers stand to benefit from a greater understanding of what works in addressing informality through technology. In this working paper, we broadly explore the relationship and intersection between labour inspection, technology, and formalization and provide a detailed case study of Apprise, an innovative mobile solution that was developed to assist inspectors and other frontline responders in their preliminary screening of workers for indicators of labour violations and exploitation. Although additional impact evaluation studies are necessary, the study concludes that technology-enhanced labour inspection shows promise as a central component of integrated strategies targeting reductions in informality.
    Keywords: labour inspection, information technology, informal economy, decent work, case study
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou; Eunha Cho
    Abstract: Iceland is an innovative country, but has untapped innovation potential. Strengthening innovation, especially in the ICT area, is crucial for strong productivity growth and performance in an increasingly digitalised world, as well as a sustained recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring more effective public support for business R&D is important. The R&D tax incentive scheme is generous by international comparison, but take-up has been low and many smaller firms have not been inclined to innovate. Following increased support, outcomes need to be monitored regularly. Adopting new technologies is also essential for stronger innovation outcomes. Competition-friendly framework conditions are key to sharpening firms’ incentives to adopt advanced technologies. The public sector too could become more digitalised. The education system needs to provide relevant skills. Participation of adult workers, especially the less educated, in re-skilling and up-skilling programmes should increase further. At the same time, business and universities need to collaborate more to maximise knowledge flows, with important benefits for innovation and society.
    Keywords: collaboration, digital, innovation, productivity, R&D, skills, tax incentives, technologies
    JEL: J24 O3 O32 I23
    Date: 2021–11–04
  5. By: Thomä, Jörg; Bischoff, Thore Sören
    Abstract: Digitalization is one of the main trends affecting firm-level innovation today. In this context, a better understanding of the multidimensional relationship between digital technologies, competences and firm-level innovation is necessary. For this purpose, this paper examines the role of digital transformation in the context of innovation activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Based on a systematic review of the fourth edition of the Oslo Manual and a subsequent qualitative content analysis (QCA) of interview data on innovating German SMEs, a category system is derived covering different facets of the digitalization-innovation link along seven main categories and 32 sub-categories. This category system is employed to analyze the interview data, with several findings pointing to the heterogeneity of innovating SMEs in terms of digitalization. It emerges that there tend to be two ideal types of "digitalizers" among innovating SMEs. On the one hand, process innovators using digital technologies and practices to generate efficiency and automation benefits, whereby they must build up basic digital competences within the firm to achieve this aim. On the other hand, product innovators with advanced competences in digitalizing their goods and services that have often already gained experiences in adopting a digital business model. The paper concludes with implications for innovation measurement, policy and further research.
    Keywords: Digitalization,Digital innovation,Innovation measurement,Qualitative content analysis,SMEs
    JEL: D22 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2021

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