nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒01‒17
seventeen papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Broadband Internet and Social Capital By Geraci, Andrea; Nardotto, Mattia; Reggiani, Tommaso; Sabatini, Fabio
  2. Determinants of Advancement in Information Communication Technologies and its Prospect under the role of Aggregate and Disaggregate Globalization By Audi, Marc; Ali, Amjad; Al-Masri, Razan
  3. Fostering Integrated Governance Quality through Technology Penetration: Thresholds of Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa By Jeremiah O. Ejemeyovwi; Alex Adegboye; Olaoluwa Umukoro; Simplice A. Asongu
  4. Enhancing ICT for Female Economic Participation in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo
  5. Do ICTs drive wealth inequality? Evidence from a dynamic panel analysis By Henri Njangang; Alim Beleck; Sosson Tadadjeu; Brice Kamguia
  6. Towards Efforts to Enhance Tax Revenue Mobilisation in Africa: Exploring Synergies between Industrialisation and ICTs By Isaac K. Ofori; Pamela E. Ofori; Simplice A. Asongu
  7. Addressing the Severity and Intensity of Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: How Relevant is the ICT and Financial Development Pathway? By Isaac K. Oforia; Mark K. Armah; Francis Taale; Pamela E. Ofori
  8. An Empirical Study on the Relationship of Regional Entrepreneurial Activities and Utilization of Digital Technology in Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) By Nobuo Kobayashi; Takeshi Mori
  9. ICT for Sustainable Development: Global Comparative Evidence of Globalisation Thresholds By Tii N. Nchofoung; Simplice A. Asongu
  10. The asymmetric effect of internet access on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa By Idris A. Abdulqadir; Simplice A. Asongu
  11. Toward Cleaner Production: Can Mobile Phone Technology Help Reduce Inorganic Fertilizer Application? Evidence Using a National Level Dataset By Nawab Khan; Ram L. Ray; Hazem S. Kassem; Muhammad Ihtisham; Abdullah; Simplice Asongu; Stephen Ansah; Shemei Zhang
  12. E-commerce Live streaming – An Emerging Industry in China and A Potential Future Trend in the World By Lu, Yang; Siegfried, Patrick
  13. Tourism and Economic Growth in South Asian Countries: Asymmetric Analysis and Lessons for Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic By Makun, Keshmeer; Jayaraman, TK
  14. The Impact of Mobile Phone Adoption on Income Inequality By Li, Shiyuan; Li, Yumin
  15. China's Digital Silk Road in Africa and the Future of Internet Governance By Tugendhat, Henry; Voo, Julia
  16. A Sequential Search Model with Partial Depth Evaluation By Yuxin Chen; Lin Liu; X. Henry Wang; Haojun Yu
  17. Digitization And Co-Production Of Healthcare: Toward A Research Agenda By Vincent Mabillard; Jan Mattijs

  1. By: Geraci, Andrea; Nardotto, Mattia; Reggiani, Tommaso (Cardiff Business School); Sabatini, Fabio
    Abstract: We study the impact of broadband penetration on social capital in the UK. Our empirical strategy exploits a technological feature of the telecommunication infrastructure that generated substantial variation in the quality of Internet access across households. The speed of a domestic connection rapidly decays with the distance of a userÕs line from the networkÕs node serving the area. Merging information on the topology of the network with geocoded longitudinal data about individual social capital from 1997 to 2017, we show that access to fast Internet caused a significant decline in civic and political engagement. Overall, our results suggest that broadband penetration crowded out several dimensions of social capital.
    Keywords: ICT, broadband infrastructure, networks, Internet, social capital, civic capital.
    JEL: D91 L82 Z13
    Date: 2021–12
  2. By: Audi, Marc; Ali, Amjad; Al-Masri, Razan
    Abstract: This article has examined the impact of aggregate and disaggregate globalization on the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the case of 87 developed and developing countries for 2000-2019. Panel least square and pairwise Dumitrescu-Hurlin panel causality tests have been used for empirical analysis. We have divided our empirical analysis into six models, i.e. aggregate globalization model for whole sample countries, disaggregate globalization model for whole sample countries, aggregate globalization model for developed countries, disaggregate globalization model for developed countries, aggregate globalization model for developing countries, and disaggregate globalization model for developing countries. Our estimated outcomes of the aggregate globalization model for the whole sample countries and developing countries show that globalization has a positive and significant impact on the advancement of information and communication technology. Our outcomes show that economic globalization, social globalization, political globalization, and availability of physical capital have a positive and significant impact on the advancement of ICT in developing countries. In the case of developed countries, aggregate globalization, political globalization, and social globalization reduce the advancement of ICT, whereas the availability of physical capital and economic globalization are raising the advancement of ICT. The results of the causality test show that all the variables have a causal relationship with each other except some variables of developed countries in the disaggregate globalization model. Our outcomes recommend that developing countries should promote aggregate and disaggregate globalization to achieve the desired level of ICT.
    Keywords: ICT, Globalization, Economic Globalization, Social Globalization, Political Globalization
    JEL: F5 F6
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Jeremiah O. Ejemeyovwi (CEPDeR, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria); Alex Adegboye (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria); Olaoluwa Umukoro (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: In the quest for the attainment of democracy with its fully unleashed potentials, the role of information and communication technology (ICT) is integral within this current knowledge economy disposition. The study explores the effect of mobile technology penetration on governance quality from the unconditional and marginal effects of mobile phones and diverse democracy indicators. The analysis is carried out by applying the instrumental variables (IV) Tobit regression to the data to examine the relationship among the variables of interest with a view to handling possible endogeneity issues in the empirical model. The study finds that weak democracy is detrimental to the effect of mobile phone penetration on integrated governance quality and that the higher the mobile phone penetration, the lower the weak democracy quality in SSA. The study concludes by recommending efforts and policies to be enacted and implemented such as the enhancement of mobile technology for concise quality governance.
    Keywords: Democracy; Information and Communication Technology; Governance; Instrument Variables
    JEL: O3 O15 O55 Q55
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: This study investigates how enhancing information and communication technology (ICT) affects female economic participation in sub-Saharan African nations. Three female economic participation indicators are used, namely female labor force participation, female unemployment and female employment rates. The engaged ICT variables are: fixed broadband subscriptions, mobile phone penetration and internet penetration. The Generalized Method of Moments is used for the empirical analysis. The following main findings are established: First, there is a (i) negative net effect in the relevance of fixed broadband subscriptions in female labour force participation and female unemployment and; (ii) positive net effects from the importance of fixed broadband subscriptions on the female employment rate. Secondly, an extended analysis is used to establish thresholds at which the undesirable net negative effect on female labour force participation can be avoided. From the corresponding findings, a fixed broadband subscription rate of 9.187 per 100 people is necessary to completely dampen the established net negative effect. Hence, the established threshold is the critical mass necessary for the enhancement of fixed broadband subscriptions to induce an overall positive net effect on the female labour force participation rate.
    Keywords: Africa; Gender; ICT; Inclusive development; Technology
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2022–01
  5. By: Henri Njangang (University of Dschang, Cameroon); Alim Beleck (HTTTC, University of Bamenda, Cameroon); Sosson Tadadjeu (University of Dschang, Cameroon); Brice Kamguia (University of Dschang, Cameroon)
    Abstract: Surprisingly, little is known about the cross-country effect of information and communication technology (ICT) on wealth inequality. At the same time, there is some tentative evidence suggesting that information and communication technology is positively correlated with income inequality. However, whether and how ICT affects wealth inequality is less explored, particularly because of the lack of reliable data on wealth inequality. This paper, therefore, fills this gap and contributes to this new literature by investigating the effect of ICT on wealth inequality in a sample of 45 developed and developing countries over the period 2000-2017. ICT is measured with six different indicators (including internet penetration, mobile penetration, ICT service exports, the ICT index, ICT quality, and ICT quantity), while wealth inequality is measured with three different indicators (comprising billionaire wealth to GDP, the Top 1% wealth share, and the Top 10% wealth share). The empirical analysis is based on the Generalised Method of Moments, and the results show that ICT increases wealth inequality. Furthermore, we show that democracy mitigates the increasing effect of ICT on wealth inequality. This result suggests that improving democracy in both developed and developing countries is an effective mechanism for mitigating the effects of ICT on wealth inequality. Therefore, we encourage efforts to implement democratic institutions that ensure respect for citizens' freedoms, greater democratic accountability, and executive constraints that allow for a more egalitarian distribution of wealth.
    Keywords: ICT; Wealth inequality; Panel data
    JEL: O15 O50 Q55
    Date: 2021–01
  6. By: Isaac K. Ofori (University of Insubria, Varese, Italy); Pamela E. Ofori (University of Insubria, Varese, Italy); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: Motivated by the momentous rise in ICT diffusion, the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, and the expected rebound of foreign direct investment inflow to Africa from 2022, this study examines the joint effects of industrialisation and ICT diffusion on resource mobilisation in Africa. To this end, we use data on 42 African countries for the period 1996 – 2020 for the analysis. First, we provide evidence robust to several specifications from the dynamic system GMM to show that although unconditionally both industrialisation and ICT diffusion enhance (i) goods and services tax (GST), and (ii) profits, corporate and income tax (PCIT) mobilisation efforts in Africa, the effects of the former are rather remarkable in the presence of the latter. Particularly, the results show that, while ICTs amplify the effect of industrialisation on GST, only ICT usage and ICT skills matter for PCIT. Second, the study unveils ICT thresholds for complementary policies. Accordingly, industrialisation and ICTs are necessary and sufficient conditions for tax revenue mobilisation only below some ICT thresholds. Above these ICT thresholds, complementary policies are needed to maintain the overall positive incidence on tax revenue mobilisation. Policy recommendations are provided in the end.
    Keywords: AfCFTA; Africa; ICT access; ICT diffusion; Industrialisation; Tax; Revenue
    JEL: C33 F6 H2 H71 O33 O55
    Date: 2021–09
  7. By: Isaac K. Oforia (University of Insubria, Varese, Italy); Mark K. Armah (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana); Francis Taale (University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana); Pamela E. Ofori (University of Insubria, Varese, Italy)
    Abstract: The study examines the effectiveness of financial development, financial access, and ICT diffusion in reducing the severity and intensity of poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Using data from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, and the Global Consumption and Income Project (1980–2019), we provide evidence robust to several specifications from the dynamic system GMM and the panel corrected standard errors estimation techniques to show that, compared to financial access, ICT usage, and ICT access, ICT skills is remarkable in reducing both the severity and intensity of poverty. The results further unveil that, though ICT skills reduce the intensity and severity of poverty in SSA, the effect is more pronounced in the presence of enhanced financial development and financial access. Policy recommendations are provided in line with the region’s green growth agenda and the rise in technological hubs of the region.
    Keywords: Financial Access, Financial Development, ICT, Inequality, Poverty, Africa
    JEL: C33 D31 F63 I3 O33
    Date: 2021–01
  8. By: Nobuo Kobayashi (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University); Takeshi Mori (Nomura Research Institute)
    Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of factors that promote and suppress the regional start-up activities of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) in Japan, based on the Digital Capability Index (DCI). The results showed that rapid progress in the digitization of public services and local residents f high ICT skills were factors that promoted KIBS start-ups. In addition, the results revealed that the establishment of a high-speed information and communication environment in the region has promoted T-KIBS startups, which utilize the Internet. Regarding factors not included in the DCI, the results showed a positive effect of the concentration of human resources and business establishments in metropolitan areas, which was in line with the findings of previous studies. In contrast, the start-up rates of T-KIBS were high in areas where the ratios of day and night populations were low. This finding suggests that although the main customers of T-KIBS are companies in metropolitan areas, such as Tokyo and Osaka, they locate their offices in the suburbs, where commercial rents are lower than in urban areas.
    Keywords: Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS), Digital Capability Index (DCI), start-up activity
    JEL: L26 L84 L86 R30
    Date: 2022–01
  9. By: Tii N. Nchofoung (University of Dschang, Cameroon); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: The objectives of this paper are to investigate the effect of ICT on sustainable development and the mechanisms through which the effect is modulated. The methodology involves the: (i) Fixed Effects estimator to control for individual heterogeneity, (ii) Driscoll and Kraay estimator to control for cross-section dependence between panels, (iii) the Mean Group estimator to take into account the averages between panel groups, (iv) the system GMM to correct for unobserved heterogeneity and simultaneity bias and (v) the instrumental variable Fixed Effects Tobit to take in to account the limited range in our dependent variable. The results show that ICT has a positive and significant effect on sustainable development. Whereas overall net effects are positive, the findings are contingent on the choice of the ICT measurement, the geographical location of the economy and the income group category. The study recommends policy makers to take into account ICT and the advantages it offers in the elaboration of measures for the sustainable development agenda
    Keywords: ICT; Sustainable development; panel data; trade openness; foreign direct investments
    JEL: C52 O38 O40 O55 P37
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: Idris A. Abdulqadir (Federal University Dutse, Nigeria n); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This article investigates the asymmetric effect of internet access (index of the internet) on economic growth in 42 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries over the period 2008-2018.The estimation procedure is obtained following a dynamic panel threshold regression technique via 1000 bootstrap replications and the 400 grids search developed by Hansen (1996, 1999, 2000). The investigation first explores the presence of inflection points in the relationship between internet access and economic growth through the application of Hansen's threshold models. The finding from the nonlinearity threshold model revealed a significant internet threshold-effect of 3.55 percent for growth. The article also examines the linear short-run effect of internet access on economic growth while controlling for the effects of private sector credit, trade openness, government regulation, and tariff regimes. The marginal effect of internet access is evaluated at the minimum, and the maximum levels of government regulation and tariffs regime are positive. On the other hand, the minimum and maximum levels of private sector credit and trade openness are negative via the interaction terms. The article advances the literature by its nonlinear transformation of the relevance of internet access on economic growth by exploring interactive mechanisms of internet access versus financial resource, internet access versus trade, internet access versus government regulation, and internet access versus the tariff regimes from end-user subscriptions. In policy terms, the statistical significance of the joint impact of government regulations and tariff regimes is relevant in the operation of the telecommunication industry in SSA countries.
    Keywords: Internet access; economic growth; government regulations; trade openness; tariff regimes; sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2021–01
  11. By: Nawab Khan (Sichuan Agricultural University, Sichuan , China); Ram L. Ray (Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, USA); Hazem S. Kassem (Saud University, Riyadh , Saudi Arabia); Muhammad Ihtisham (Wuhan, China); Abdullah (Rawalpindi, Pakistan); Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Stephen Ansah (Sichuan Agricultural University, Sichuan, China); Shemei Zhang (Sichuan Agricultural University,Sichuan , China)
    Abstract: Increasing agricultural production and optimizing inorganic fertilizer (IF) use are imperative for agricultural and environmental sustainability. Mobile phone usage (MPU) has the potential to reduce IF application while ensuring environmental and agricultural sustainability goals. The main objectives of this study were to assess MPU, mobile phone promotion policy, and whether the mediation role of human capital can help reduce IF use. This study used baseline regression analysis and propensity score matching, difference-in-differences (PSM-DID) to assess the impact of MPU on IF usage. However, the two-stage instrumental variables method (IVM) was used to study the effects of mobile phone promotion policy on IF usage. This study used a national dataset from 7,987 rural households in Afghanistan to investigate the impacts of MPU and associated promotion policies on IF application. The baseline regression outcomes showed that the MPU significantly reduced IF usage. The evaluation mechanism revealed that mobile phones help reduce IF application by improving the human capital of farmers. Besides, evidence from the DID technique showed that mobile phone promotion policies lowered IF application. These results remained robust after applying the PSM-DID method and two-stage IVM to control endogenous decisions of rural households. This study results imply that enhancing the accessibility of wideband in remote areas, promoting MPU, and increasing investment in information communication technologies (ICTs) infrastructure can help decrease the IF application in agriculture. Thus, the government should invest in remote areas to facilitate access to ICTs, such as having a telephone and access to a cellular and internet network to provide an environment and facility to apply IF effectively. Further, particular policy support must focus on how vulnerable populations access the internet and mobile phone technologies.
    Keywords: mobile phone usage; propensity score matching; difference-in-difference; inorganic fertilizer usage; human capital; sustainable development; Afghanistan
    Date: 2021–01
  12. By: Lu, Yang; Siegfried, Patrick
    Abstract: With the widespread use of the Internet, many industries have developed rapidly. The economy based on the Internet poses a significant threat to the traditional economy. Live streaming plus e-commerce, which is acknowledged as the current global economic status, is the result of combing live streaming and various industries through the Internet. E-commerce live streaming is one of the most essential types of online live streaming. In this article, it is defined as the live streaming of the e-commerce platform used by Key Opinion Leaders or product sellers through the built-in live streaming function of the platform to propagate goods, brands, events, etc. to achieve goals of brand exposure and product sales. Compared with the traditional economic model, the combined model of e-commerce and live streaming has its advantages and characteristics. This kind of marketing tool is now prevalent. However, there are many deficiencies in e-commerce live streaming that need to be improved since the development of e-commerce is immature and supervision of Internet use is ongoing.
    Keywords: Consumer behavior; Digital and social media; E-commerce live streaming; New media marketing
    JEL: F1 L8 L81
    Date: 2021–12–31
  13. By: Makun, Keshmeer; Jayaraman, TK
    Abstract: Since the first Quarter of 2020, due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still continuing unabated with the periodical emergence of new variants, international tourism has become one of the most adversely affected sources of external earnings of developing countries. The World Travel and Tourism Council has predicted that border closures, as part of travel bans imposed by all affected countries to contain spread of the pandemic combined with the shattered travelers’ confidence, would lead to a loss of 100 million jobs on a global scale in 2021 and 2022 along with an expected fall in world tourism by 60 to 80 percent. For the South Asian countries, the crisis would result in a 42 to 60 percent drop in tourist arrivals in 2020 and 2021. Tourism has also been providing a great impetus to the growth of informal sector supported by information and communication technology with participation of women, both full time and part time, in significant number of small and mini-enterprises. This panel study employing a nonlinear econometric methodology confirms the existence of an asymmetric association between tourism and economic growth for six South Asian countries for the period 1995 to 2018. While a given size of positive partial sum decomposition of tourism increased growth, the negative partial sum decomposition of tourism of the same size resulted in a greater adverse effect on economic growth. There are some lessons of policy implications which are drawn from the study in the context of continuing uncertainties.
    Keywords: Tourism, economic growth, Covid-19, nonlinear panel ARDL, South Asia.
    JEL: F4 L83 O3
    Date: 2022–01–04
  14. By: Li, Shiyuan; Li, Yumin
    Abstract: Income inequality could lead to weaker economic performance, and there is no consensus on how innovations could affect income inequality. In this paper, we use cross-country panel data to examine the relationship between telecommunications innovation, income inequality, and unemployment. We find different correlations between different levels of technological innovation and income inequality. Our study shows that the spread of 3G communication technologies has little impact on income inequality, while the spread of 4G communication technologies has significantly increased national income inequality. Moreover, the empirical results are robust to various measures of inequality. Finally, 3G communication technologies create far fewer new jobs than jobs displaced by automation, thus increasing unemployment levels. 4G communication technologies create more new jobs, thus reducing unemployment and increasing inequality.
    Keywords: Telecommunication Innovation; Inequality; Unemployment
    JEL: D63 L96 Q55
    Date: 2021–12
  15. By: Tugendhat, Henry; Voo, Julia
    Abstract: The Digital Silk Road (DSR) is a Chinese policy initiative launched in 2015, yet six years later there is relatively little concrete information about what it has achieved so far. Henry Tugendhat and Julia Voo offer a preliminary analysis of what the DSR entails in Africa. Discover their findings, including how Chinese lending for technology projects in Africa was actually greater before the launch of the DSR than after.
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Yuxin Chen (Stern School of Business, New York University-Shanghai); Lin Liu (School of Economics and Management, Beihang University); X. Henry Wang (Department of Economics, University of Missouri); Haojun Yu (College of Business, Shanghai University of Economics and Finance)
    Abstract: Improvement in infrastructure and advances in information technology have strived to make both online and offline store visits better experiences and less costly for consumers. In addition, on-site product information search has been unprecedentedly facilitated by provisions of tools such as mobile store apps, search engines, screening/sorting aids, and better in-store display etc. With the decrease in the cost to visit stores, may firms have an incentive to facilitate consumers’ information collection and evaluation on product attributes? This paper attempts to shed light on this important question with a model that considers both travel cost (transportation cost between firm visits) and search cost (product evaluation cost) and explores how they affect consumer search behavior and firms’ pricing decisions. Specifically, consumers make a trade-off between how many attributes to evaluate (search depth) and whether continuing the search to the next firm (search breadth). We extend the classical framework for sequential search developed by Wolinsky (1986) and Anderson and Renault (1999) by letting consumers choose search depth at each step. The analysis reveals a novel interaction effect: lower (higher) search cost benefits firms if travel cost is lower (higher). Thus, facilitating consumers’ product evaluation may benefit firms in the context of reduced travel cost. Critically, we show that this interaction effect occurs only when search depth is endogenous with partial-depth search as the result. In addition, we show that travel and search costs may play opposite roles on depth and prices—they increasing (decreasing) in travel (search) cost. Relevant managerial implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Travel Cost, Search Cost, Partial Depth Search, Pricing, Competition
    JEL: D43 L13 L41
    Date: 2022
  17. By: Vincent Mabillard; Jan Mattijs
    Abstract: In public management and administration, co-creation, co-design and co-production of public services are a very significant trend, both theoretically and practically. These efforts aim at simultaneously improving service delivery and legitimacy. At the same time, digitization is extending in public services. Beyond using information technologies for production, public organizations are increasing their use of social media and other citizen- or service-oriented platforms, not to mention the burgeoning use of AI. The combination of these two trends – co-creation / co-design / co-production and digitization – is under-researched and poses important practical questions at policy, strategy and delivery levels. We outline a research agenda based on a combination of theoretical and conceptual discussion, a literature review and three case studies from the healthcare sector. The main paths for future research revolve around 1) challenges about engaging patients or citizens in designing e-health services, 2) the necessity to develop pluridisciplinary research and reach a common taxonomy, 3) patient empowerment, 4) the impact of digitization on healthcare practices and the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals, and 5) insufficient strategic and policy reflection about the impact of digitization.
    Keywords: Digitization; Co-creation; Co-production; Healthcare policies; Research agenda
    JEL: H83 I18 M15 M31
    Date: 2022–01–05

This nep-ict issue is ©2022 by Marek Giebel. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.