nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2021‒12‒06
ten papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Mobile Broadband Internet, Poverty and Labor Outcomes in Tanzania By Bahia, Kalvin; Castells, Pau; Cruz, Genaro; Masaki, Takaaki; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos; Sanfelice, Viviane
  2. Analyzing Usage and Effectiveness Of E-Learning Applications among Rural and Urban Students: An Empirical Study By G.K., Chetan Kumar; K.B., Rangappa
  3. Site-Specific Agronomic Information and Technology Adoption: A Field Experiment from Ethiopia By Hailemariam Ayalew; Chamberlin Jordan; Carol Newman
  4. Economic impacts of mobile broadband innovation: Evidence from the transition to 4G By Jeffrey Eisenach; Robert Kulick
  5. Is Digital Financial Inclusion Unlocking Growth? By Ms. Sumiko Ogawa; Purva Khera; Miss Stephanie Y Ng; Ms. Ratna Sahay
  6. How digital technology affects working conditions in globally fragmented production chains: evidence from Europe. By Aleksandra Parteka; Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz; Dagmara Nikulin
  7. Do search engines increase concentration in media markets? By Joan Calzada; Nestor Duch-Brown; Ricard Gil
  8. Central bank digital currencies: motives, economic implications and the research frontier By Raphael Auer; Jon Frost; Leonardo Gambacorta; Cyril Monnet; Tara Rice; Hyun Song Shin
  9. Financial determinants of informal financial development in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Valentine B. Soumtang; Ofeh M. Edoh
  10. Is the patent system a level playing field? The effect of patent attorney firms By Gaetan de Rassenfosse; Paul Jensen; T'Mir Julius; Alfons Palangkaraya; Elizabeth Webster

  1. By: Bahia, Kalvin (GSMA); Castells, Pau (GSMA); Cruz, Genaro (GSMA); Masaki, Takaaki (World Bank); Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos (World Bank); Sanfelice, Viviane (Temple University)
    Abstract: What are the impacts of expanding mobile broadband coverage on poverty, household consumption and labor market outcomes in developing countries? Who benefits from improved coverage of mobile internet? To respond to these questions, this paper applies a difference-in-differences estimation using panel household survey data combined with geospatial information on the rollout of mobile broadband coverage in Tanzania. The results reveal that being covered by 3G networks has a large positive effect on total household consumption and poverty reduction, driven by positive impacts on labor market outcomes. Working age individuals living in areas covered by mobile internet witnessed an increase in labor force participation, wage employment, and non-farm self-employment, and a decline in farm employment. These effects vary by age, gender and skill level. Younger and more skilled men benefit the most through higher labor force participation and wage employment, while high-skilled women benefit from transitions from self-employed farm work into non-farm employment.
    Keywords: Africa, consumption, labor force participation, welfare, Tanzania
    JEL: F63 I31 L86 O12
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: G.K., Chetan Kumar; K.B., Rangappa
    Abstract: Although Information communication technology was bound to transform teaching learning pedagogy in developing nations, advent of Covid-19 and subsequent nation-wide lock down has acted as a catalyst for the process. Experience from developed world has shown that Information Communication Technology enhances learning process. In India there has always been a prevalence of dichotomy of resources between rural and urban regions. Government of India has taken initiatives like Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Gar Yojana to strengthen socio economic infrastructure in rural area. Along with this some of the State Governments like that of Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have initiatives to promote digital learning among students in both urban and rural areas. In this context it becomes pertinent to analyze whether students in rural area are on par with the students in urban area to access digital learning. This is even more relevant as nearly 65% of Indian population resides in rural areas. Our research paper aims to suggest appropriate policy suggestions to bridge this gap, if any.
    Keywords: Digital devices, E-Applications, Rural and urban students, Information Communication Technology, Learning Outcomes, Binomial Regression
    JEL: I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2021–08–18
  3. By: Hailemariam Ayalew (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Ethiopia); Chamberlin Jordan (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Kenya); Carol Newman (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Smallholder farmers in Africa typically only have access to blanket fertilizer recommendations which may not be optimal for local production conditions. The response to such recommendations has generally been poor. Using a randomized control trial in Ethiopia, we explore whether targeted recommendations lead farmers to align fertilizer usage to recommended levels and whether this impacts productivity. Results show that targeted recommendations closed the gap between the he recommended and actual amounts of fertilizer used and that this in turn increased productivity. We also consider whether coupling these recommendations with agricultural insurance further encourages fertilizer investment but find no differential effect.
    Keywords: advisory services, smallholder agriculture, agricultural extension, ICT, fertilizer, agriculture
    JEL: O12 O13 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Jeffrey Eisenach (NERA Economic Consulting, Inc., George Mason University Law School, and the American Enterprise Institute); Robert Kulick (NERA Economic Consulting, Inc., George Mason University Law School)
    Abstract: This study reports estimates from a model of the economic effects of 4G mobile wireless technology adoption in the United States on employment and economic growth and, based on those results, projects the benefits of 5G adoption under different counterfactual scenarios.
    Keywords: 5G wireless, Economic growth, employment, technology and innovation
    JEL: A
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Ms. Sumiko Ogawa; Purva Khera; Miss Stephanie Y Ng; Ms. Ratna Sahay
    Abstract: Digital financial services have been a key driver of financial inclusion in recent years. While there is evidence that financial inclusion through traditional services has a positive impact on economic growth, do the same results carry over for digital financial inclusion? What drives digital financial inclusion? Why does it advance more in some countries but not in others? Using new indices of financial inclusion developed in Khera et. al. (2021), this paper addresses these questions for 52 developing countries. Using cross-sectional instrument variable procedure, we find that the exogenous component of digital financial inclusion is positively associated with growth in GDP per capita during 2011-2018, which suggests that digital financial inclusion can accelerate economic growth. Fractional logit and random effects empirical estimation identifies access to infrastructure, financial and digital literacy, and quality of institutions as key drivers of digital financial inclusion. These findings are then used to help inform policy recommendations in areas related to the digitization of financial services to promote financial inclusion.
    Keywords: A. literature review; digitization of financial services; capital markets department; growth rate; Digital financial services; number in bracket; regression equation; Financial inclusion; Mobile banking; Middle East and Central Asia; Caribbean; Asia and Pacific
    Date: 2021–06–11
  6. By: Aleksandra Parteka (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland); Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland); Dagmara Nikulin (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland)
    Abstract: This paper uses a sample of over 9.5 million workers from 22 European countries to study the intertwined effects of digital technology and cross-border production links on workers' wellbeing. We compare the social effects of technological change exhibited by three types of innovation: computerisation (software), automation (robots) and artificial intelligence (AI). To fully quantify work-related wellbeing, we propose a new methodology that corrects the information on remuneration by reference to such non-monetary factors as the work environment (physical and social), career development prospects, or work intensity. We show that workers' wellbeing depends on the type of technological exposure. Employees in occupations with high software or robots content face worse working conditions than those exposed to AI. The impact of digitalisation on working conditions depends on participation in global production. To demonstrate this, we estimate a set of augmented models for determination of working conditions, interacting technological factors with Global Value Chain participation. GVC intensification is accompanied by deteriorating working conditions - but only in occupations exposed to robots or software, not in AI-intensive jobs. In other words, we find that AI technologies differ from previous waves of technological progress - also in their impact on workers' wellbeing within global production structures.
    Keywords: digital technologies, working conditions, GVC, Global Value Chains, artificial intelligence, AI
    JEL: F1 F6 J8 O3
    Date: 2021–11
  7. By: Joan Calzada (Universitat de Barcelona); Nestor Duch-Brown (Joint Research Centre); Ricard Gil (Smith School of Business, Queen’s University)
    Abstract: Search engines are one of the main channels to access news content of traditional newspapers. In the European Union, organic search traffic from Google accounts for 35% of news outlets’ visits. Yet, the effects of Google Search on market competition and information diversity are ambiguous, as the firm indexes news outlets considering both domain authority and information accuracy. Using detailed daily data traffic for 606 news outlets from 15 European countries, we assess the effect of Google Search’s indexation on search visits. Our identification strategy exploits nine core algorithm updates rolled out by Google between 2018 and 2020 in order to achieve exogenous variation in news outlets’ indexation. Several conclusions follow from our estimations. First, Google core updates overall reduce the number of keywords that news outlets have in top positions in search results. Second, keywords ranked in top search position have a positive effect on news outlets’ visits. Third, our results are robust when we focus the analysis on different types of news outlets, but are less conclusive when we consider national markets separately. Our paper also analyzes the effects of Google core updates on media market concentration. We find that the three “big†core updates identified in this period reduced market concentration by 1%, but this effect was mostly compensated by the rest of the updates.
    Keywords: Media market, Google Search, Europe, core algorithm updates.
    JEL: L1 L5
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Raphael Auer; Jon Frost; Leonardo Gambacorta; Cyril Monnet; Tara Rice; Hyun Song Shin
    Abstract: In just a few years, central banks have rapidly ramped up their research and development effort on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). A growing body of economic research informs these activities, often focusing on the "reserves for all" aspect of CBDCs for retail use. However, CBDCs should be considered in the full context of the digital economy and the centrality of data, which raises concerns around competition, payment system integrity and privacy. This paper gives a guided tour of the growing literature on CBDCs on the microeconomic considerations related to operational architectures, technologies and privacy, and the macroeconomic implications for the financial system, financial stability and monetary policy. A set of questions, particularly on the cross-border dimensions of CBDCs, remains unresolved, and calls for further work to expand the research frontier.
    JEL: C72 C73 D4 E42 E58 G21 O32 L86
    Date: 2021–11
  9. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Valentine B. Soumtang (University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon); Ofeh M. Edoh (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This study assesses financial determinants of informal financial sector development in 48 Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 1995-2017. Quantile regressions are used as the empirical strategy which enables the study to assess the determinants throughout the conditional distribution of informal sector development dynamics. The following financial determinants affect informal financial development and financial informalization differently in terms of magnitude and sign: bank overhead costs; net internet margin; bank concentration; return on equity; bank cost to income ratio; financial stability; loans from non-resident banks; offshore bank deposits and remittances. The determinants are presented from a plethora of perspectives, inter alia: U-Shape, S-Shape and positive or negative thresholds. The study not only provides a practical way by which to assess the incidence of financial determinants on informal financial sector development, but also provides financial instruments by which informal financial development can be curbed.
    Keywords: Informal finance; financial development; Africa
    Date: 2021–08
  10. By: Gaetan de Rassenfosse (Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne); Paul Jensen (University of Melbourne); T'Mir Julius (University of Melbourne); Alfons Palangkaraya (Swinburne University of Technology); Elizabeth Webster (Swinburne University of Technology)
    Abstract: The patent system underpins the business model of some of the fastest-growing companies. Used appropriately, it should support frontier technologies and nurture new firms. Used perniciously, it can stifle innovation and protect established technological behemoths. We analyse patent examination decisions at the American, European, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese patent offices and find evidence that patent attorney firms have a surprisingly large role in the patent system. Patent attorney firm quality is most important, vis-Ã -vis invention quality, in less codified and more rapidly changing technology areas such as software and ICT. Moreover, patent attorney firm quality matters more when invention quality is low. Finally, there is a significant inter-patent office variation, with a greater patent attorney firm quality effect at the USPTO.
    Keywords: appropriation; innovation; patent attorney firm; patent system
    JEL: K20 L43 O34
    Date: 2021–11

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