nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒03‒07
four papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Does IT help? Information technology in banking and entrepreneurship By Toni Ahnert; Sebastian Doerr; Nicola Pierri; Yannick Timmer
  2. Digital discretion and public administration in Africa: Implications for the use of artificial intelligence By Plantinga, Paul
  3. Effects of Daily School and Care Disruptions During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Child Mental Health By Anna Gassman-Pines; Elizabeth Ananat; John Fitz-Henley II; Jane Leer
  4. Environmental News Emotion and Air Pollution in China By Sébastien Marchand; Damien Cubizol; Elda Nasho Ah-Pine; Huanxiu Guo

  1. By: Toni Ahnert; Sebastian Doerr; Nicola Pierri; Yannick Timmer
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the importance of information technology (IT) in banking for entrepreneurship. To guide our analysis, we build a parsimonious model of bank screening and lending that predicts that IT in banking can spur entrepreneurship by making it easier for startups to borrow against collateral. We then empirical show that job creation by young firms is stronger in US counties that are more exposed to IT-intensive banks. Consistent with a strengthened collateral lending channel, entrepreneurship increases by more in IT-exposed counties when house prices rise. In line with the model's implications, higher startup activity does not diminish startup quality. Instrumental variable regressions at the bank level further show that IT makes banks' credit supply more responsive to changes in local house prices, and weakens the importance of geographical distance between borrowers and lenders. These results suggest that banks' IT adoption can increase dynamism by improving startups' access to finance.
    Keywords: technology in banking, entrepreneurship, information technology, collateral, screening.
    JEL: G21 G14 E44 D82 D83
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Plantinga, Paul
    Abstract: The digitalisation of public services is implicated in fundamental changes to how civil servants make decisions and exercise discretion. Most significant has been a shift in responsibility away from ‘street-level bureaucrats’ to ‘system-level bureaucrats’; a technology-savvy community of officials, consultants and private enterprises involved in the design of information technology systems and associated rules. The relatively recent inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven algorithms raises new questions about the conflation of policy formulation and system development activities, but also intensifies concerns about the epistemic dependence and policy alienation of public officials. African public administrations are in an especially vulnerable position with respect to the adoption of AI, and so this chapter seeks to synthesise lessons from previous digital implementations on the continent, and considers the implications for AI use. Four broad considerations emerge from the review of literature: Integrity of recommendations provided by decision-support systems, including how they are influenced by local organisational practices and the reliability of underlying infrastructures; Inclusive decision-making that balances the (assumed) objectivity of data-driven algorithms and the influence of different stakeholder groups; Exception and accountability in how digital and AI platforms are funded, developed, implemented and used; and a Complete understanding of people and events through the integration of traditionally dispersed data sources and systems, and how policy actors seek to mitigate the risks associated with this aspiration.
    Date: 2022–01–10
  3. By: Anna Gassman-Pines; Elizabeth Ananat; John Fitz-Henley II; Jane Leer
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected American children, including disruptions to their care and school settings. Children attending in-person child care or school have contended with unpredictable closures and time in remote school, which in turn is subject to its own types of disruptions (hardware, software, and internet failures). This study investigated the frequency and consequences of disruptions to children’s child care and school arrangements during fall 2020. The study includes a representative sample of hourly service-sector workers parents of a young child from a major U.S. city (N = 679); half are non-Hispanic Black, 23% are Hispanic; 18% are non-Hispanic White. Parents were asked to complete 30 days of daily surveys about whether their care and school arrangements went smoothly and as predicted that day, and about their mood, parenting behaviors, and children’s behavior. Results showed that daily disruptions to care and school were common, with families reporting a disruption on 24% of days. Families with children in remote schooling experienced more frequent disruption than families with children in in-person care or school. For all families, care or school disruptions strongly predicted worse child behavior, more negative parental mood, and increased likelihood of losing temper and punishment.
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Sébastien Marchand (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Damien Cubizol (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Elda Nasho Ah-Pine (CleRMa - Clermont Recherche Management - ESC Clermont-Ferrand - École Supérieure de Commerce (ESC) - Clermont-Ferrand - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Huanxiu Guo (The Institute of Economics and Finance - Nanjing Audit University)
    Abstract: In 2013, the Chinese central government launched a war on air pollution. As a new and major source of information, the Internet plays an important role in diffusing environmental news emotion and shaping people's perceptions and emotions regarding the pollution. How could the government make use of the environmental news emotion as an informal regulation of pollution? The paper investigates the causal relationship between web news emotion (defined by the emotional tone of web news) and air pollution (SO2, NO2, PM2.5 and PM10) by exploiting the central government's war on air pollution. We combine daily monitoring data of air pollution at different levels (cities and counties, respectively the second and third administrative levels in China) with the GDELT database that allows us to have information on Chinese web news media (e.g. emotional tone of web news on air pollution). We find that a decrease of the emotional tone in web news (i.e. more negative emotions in the articles) can help to reduce air pollution at both city and county level. We attribute this effect to the context of China's war on air pollution in which the government makes use of the environmental news emotion as an informal regulation of pollution.
    Keywords: News emotion,Air pollution,Mass media,The internet,Government,China
    Date: 2021–11

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