nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒01‒03
nine papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Information and Communication Technologies and Medium-Run Fluctuations By Brianti, Marco; Gati, Laura
  2. Optimal bidding strategies for digital advertising By Médéric Motte; Huyên Pham
  3. Firms going digital: Tapping into the potential of data for innovation By David Gierten; Steffen Viete; Raphaela Andres; Thomas Niebel
  4. The role of telework for productivity during and post-COVID-19: Results from an OECD survey among managers and workers By Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti
  5. Technology Adoption and Skills A Pilot Study of Kent SMEs By Catherine Robinson; Christian Siegel; Sisi Liao
  6. Public opinion of a government-enabled technology, by the example of Internet voting: survey evidence from Russia By Valeria Babayan; Israel Marques II; Michael Mironyuk; Aleksei Turobov
  7. Will it stay or will it go? Analysing developments in telework during COVID-19 using online job postings data By Pawel Adrjan; Gabriele Ciminelli; Alexandre Judes; Michael Koelle; Cyrille Schwellnus; Tara Sinclair
  8. The Economic Impact of Mobile Phone Ownership: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Tanzania By Philip; Roessler; Peter; Carroll; Flora; Myamba; Cornel; Jahari; Blandina; Kilama; Daniel; Nielson
  9. The Media or the Message? Experimental Evidence on Mass Media and Modern Contraception Uptake in Burkina Faso By Rachel Glennerster; Joanna Murray; Victor Pouliquen

  1. By: Brianti, Marco (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Gati, Laura (European Central Bank)
    Abstract: This paper explores the possibility that productivity improvements in information and communication technologies (ICT) are a source of medium-run fluctuations in total factor productivity (TFP). We document in a structural VAR setting that innovations in ICT investment are followed by hump-shaped increases in TFP. Following the ICT literature, we use a two-sector model to suggest a mechanism behind the hump-shaped TFP response: that ICT is a general-purpose technology (GPT). Using impulse-response matching, we show that a model with a spillover from ICT capital is able to match the hump-shaped TFP response, hinting at the importance of the diffusion of ICT.
    Keywords: information and communication technologies; general-purpose technologies; two-sector models; total factor productivity
    JEL: E30
    Date: 2021–12–15
  2. By: Médéric Motte (LPSM (UMR_8001) - Laboratoire de Probabilités, Statistiques et Modélisations - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - SU - Sorbonne Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Huyên Pham (LPSM (UMR_8001) - Laboratoire de Probabilités, Statistiques et Modélisations - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - SU - Sorbonne Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: With the emergence of new online channels and information technology, digital advertising tends to substitute more and more to traditional advertising by offering the opportunity to companies to target the consumers/users that are really interested by their products or services. We introduce a novel framework for the study of optimal bidding strategies associated to different types of advertising, namely, commercial advertising for triggering purchases or subscriptions, and social marketing for alerting population about unhealthy behaviours (anti-drug, vaccination, road-safety campaigns). Our continuoustime models are based on a common framework encoding users online behaviours via their web-browsing at random times, and the targeted advertising auction mechanism widely used on Internet, the objective being to efficiently diffuse advertising information by means of digital channels. Our main results are to provide semi-explicit formulas for the optimal value and bidding policy for each of these problems. We show some sensitivity properties of the solution with respect to model parameters, and analyse how the different sources of digital information accessible to users including the social interactions affect the optimal bid for advertising auctions. We also study how to efficiently combine targeted advertising and non-targeted advertising mechanisms. Finally, some classes of examples with fully explicit formulas are derived.
    Keywords: Bid optimisation,auction,targeted advertising,digital information,Point processes,martingale techniques JEL Classification: C70,C61 MSC Classification: 91B26,90B60,60G55
    Date: 2021–11–15
  3. By: David Gierten; Steffen Viete; Raphaela Andres; Thomas Niebel
    Abstract: This paper aims to help policy makers understand and improve the conditions for firms to thrive in an increasingly digital economy where data has become an important resource for innovation. The paper: 1) analyses trends in the adoption of information and communication technologies and activities that enable firms to collect, store and use data, including big data analysis (BDA); 2) provides new evidence from micro-econometric analysis of firms’ BDA and innovation in products, processes, marketing and organisation, considering different types of data used for BDA; 3) examines business models of firms that successfully innovate with data; and 4) discusses policies that can help improve the conditions for all firms to go digital and tap into the potential of data for innovation.
    Date: 2021–12–20
  4. By: Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti
    Abstract: Motivated by the sudden adoption of telework in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Global Forum on Productivity (GFP) undertook an online survey among managers and workers in 25 countries about their experience and expectations, with a particular focus on productivity and well-being. This paper presents analysis and results from this endeavour. It finds that managers and workers had an overall positive assessment from teleworking both for firm performance and for individual well-being, and wish to increase substantially the share of regular teleworkers from pre-crisis levels. Respondents, on average, find that the ideal amount of telework is around 2-3 days per week, in line with other recent evidence and with the idea that the benefits (e.g., less commuting, fewer distractions) and costs (e.g., impaired communication and knowledge flows) need to be balanced at an intermediate level of telework intensity. To meet the challenges of this “hybrid” working mode, as the survey finds, further changes from management are needed, such as the co-ordination of schedules to encourage a sufficient degree of in-person interaction, and further investment in ICT tools and skills as well as more soft skills to master online communication.
    Keywords: productivity, survey, telework, well-being, working from home
    JEL: D24 M1 O3
    Date: 2021–12–16
  5. By: Catherine Robinson; Christian Siegel; Sisi Liao
    Abstract: Does the successful deployment of digital technologies require complementary investment in skills? We conducted a pilot survey to investigate. The survey elicited information on whether the firm was adopting one of the three digital technologies of interest (AI, robotics, big data), provided in-house training, and whether they experienced any problems recruiting workers. We find evidence that new technologies require complementary skill investments and that firms deem both new technologies and training of their workforce important for productivity. While there is some heterogeneity across the type of technologies (Robotics, AI, Big Data) introduced, firms facing difficulties attracting workers with the right skills are more likely to run own training programmes. This might suggest that there is a skills gap that may be holding back productivity and economic growth. Overall, the findings from our pilot survey demonstrate firms's awareness of the need for skills to complement new technologies to realise the productivity benefits in full.
    Keywords: capital-skill complementarity; business performance; technology adoption
    JEL: J24 M53 O33
    Date: 2021–12
  6. By: Valeria Babayan (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Israel Marques II (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Michael Mironyuk (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksei Turobov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: What are the determinants of individual-level trust in Internet-based voting in non-democracies? Modern digital and electronic transformations of the electoral process offer citizens new forms of voting, however it is not clear which citizens are prepared to trust these innovations. Existing work on trust in internet-based voting has mainly focused on Western democracies, where well-functioning institutions curb potential abuses. As a consequence, existing perspectives have drawn on work on technology adoption and focused on individual-level cost-benefit analyses and elite framing of these technologies. In non-democracies, however, there are few checks and balances on electoral manipulations that allow the authorities to shape outcomes extra-legally. In such settings, institutional trust in the authorities and beliefs about the ease with which internet-based voting can be abused take on new and greater salience. In this paper, we provide an exploratory analysis aimed at testing whether existing perspectives help explain trust in internet-based voting in electoral non-democracies, as well as whether concerns about abuse also play a role. To test these arguments, we make use of an online survey of over 16,250 respondents in the Russian Federation, a case regarded as archetypical in the literature on electoral non-democracies. Our findings provide important insights into public opinion surrounding novel electoral procedures, generally, and internet-based voting, more specifically, in non-democracies. These insights, in turn, have important implications for our understanding of attitudes towards electoral integrity in non-democracies and the potential for popular constraints on the ability of autocrats to modify electoral procedures to reproduce power
    Keywords: Internet voting, Institutional trust, Risk, Electoral Processes, Public opinion, Technology adoption, online voting, Russia, COVID
    JEL: D8 D72
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Pawel Adrjan; Gabriele Ciminelli; Alexandre Judes; Michael Koelle; Cyrille Schwellnus; Tara Sinclair
    Abstract: The COVID-19 crisis has triggered a major shift towards telework and virtual interactions. This paper uses information on job postings from the online job site Indeed to analyse developments in the adoption of telework across 20 countries. It finds, first, that the incidence of advertised telework almost tripled during the pandemic, albeit with large differences both across sectors and across countries. Second, cross-country differences are to a notable extent explained by differences in the extent to which governments restricted mobility during the pandemic. However, while the tightening of restrictions substantially raises advertised telework, their easing only modestly reverses the increase. Third, digital preparedness plays an important role in mediating the response of advertised telework to changes in restrictions. The tightening of restrictions has particularly large effects in sectors that are better prepared to adopt digital business models, while their easing has almost no effect in countries with high-quality digital infrastructure. Overall, these results suggest that telework is here to stay, especially in countries with high levels of digital preparedness. Public policies will need to adapt to reap the potential benefits for productivity and worker well-being.
    Keywords: digital infrastructure, mobility restrictions, telework
    JEL: D23 E24 J23 G18 M50
    Date: 2021–12–16
  8. By: Philip; Roessler; Peter; Carroll; Flora; Myamba; Cornel; Jahari; Blandina; Kilama; Daniel; Nielson
    Abstract: We study the causal impact of reducing the mobile gender gap. Leveraging one of the first large-scale experimental studies on women’s mobile phone ownership, we find that in Tanzania over thirteen months smartphones increased households’ annual consumption per capita by 20% compared to control. Consumption gains operated through women’s control and use of the smartphones. However, treatment effects were attenuated by handset turnover. By endline only 34% in the smartphone condition still possessed their handsets. This highlights the economic benefits of closing the mobile gender gap but also the tenuous nature of productive asset ownership for women in low-income households.
    Keywords: finance and microfinance; climate change; anticipatory humanitarian action
    JEL: J16 L96 O12 O33
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Rachel Glennerster; Joanna Murray; Victor Pouliquen
    Abstract: Mass media can spread information and disinformation, but its impact is hard to rigorously measure. Using a two-level randomized controlled trial covering 5 million people, we test both exposure to mass media (with 1,500 women receiving radios) and the impact of a high-quality, intensive 2.5 year, family planning mass media campaign in Burkina Faso (8 of 16 local radio stations received the campaign). We find women who received a radio in noncampaign areas reduced contraception use by 5.2 percentage points (p=0.039) and had more conservative gender attitudes. In contrast, modern contraceptive use rose 5.9 percentage points (p=0.046) in campaign areas and 5.8 percentage points (p=0.030) among those given radios in campaign areas. Births fell 10%. The campaign changed beliefs about contraception but not preferences, and encouraged existing users to use more consistently. We estimate the nationwide campaign scale-up led to 225,000 additional women using modern contraception, at a cost of US$7.7 per additional user.
    Keywords: Mass Media Campaign; Radio; Modern Contraception; Family Planning; RCT.
    JEL: J13 J16 L82
    Date: 2021

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