nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒03‒21
six papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Technology Boom, Labor Reallocation, and Human Capital Depreciation By Johan Hombert; Adrien Matray
  2. 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
  3. Intelligent modeling of e-Government initiatives in Greece By Spinellis, Diomidis; Pouloudi, Athanasia; Xirogiannis, George; Makantasi, Evmorfia
  4. Access to Fintech and Poverty : Evidence from the Arrival of 4G Networks in Indonesia By Fatkhurrohman
  5. Bayesian Privacy By Ran Eilat; Kfir Eliaz Eliaz; Xiaosheng Mu
  6. Sequential Information Design: Markov Persuasion Process and Its Efficient Reinforcement Learning By Jibang Wu; Zixuan Zhang; Zhe Feng; Zhaoran Wang; Zhuoran Yang; Michael I. Jordan; Haifeng Xu

  1. By: Johan Hombert (HEC Paris); Adrien Matray (Princeton University)
    Abstract: During the late 1990s boom, one-third of skilled labor market entrants joined the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. We use French linked employer-employee data to study their wage dynamics. Despite starting with 5% higher wages, these workers experience lower wage growth and end up with 6% lower wages fifteen years out, relative to similar workers who started in other sectors. The long-run wage discount is not explained by selection, job losses or persistently low demand for ICT services. It is concentrated in STEM occupations, consistent with obsolescence of technical skills accelerating during a technological boom.
    Keywords: Labor, Employment, France
    JEL: E24 J24 O33
    Date: 2021–12
  2. By: Jeremiah O. Ejemeyovwi (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
  3. By: Spinellis, Diomidis; Pouloudi, Athanasia; Xirogiannis, George; Makantasi, Evmorfia
    Abstract: Over the last two years Greece has employed agile ICT solutions to reduce the administrative burden in front-office G2B transactions. This research supplements historic analysis with fuzzy cognitive maps to offer a multi-dimensional coupling of eGovernment initiatives with digital maturity assessment capabilities and a strategy alignment evaluation framework. This “intelligent x-ray” confirms that front-office technology is important in reducing administrative burden. The digital bypass of bureaucracy seems to be an effective start for Greece. However, this strategy can only serve as a short-term tactical choice. The “intelligent x-ray” provides executive level quantification and traceable reasoning to show that excessive emphasis on front- office technology will soon fail to support a strong eGovernment maturity. Organizational efficiency, interoperability, regulatory simplifications, and change management must also act as important objectives. Only then will ICT deliver its full potential, and the eGovernment maturity will improve significantly even with moderate ICT investments.
    Keywords: fuzzy cognitive maps; eGovernment strategy; digital maturity; evidence-based policy; Hellenic Observatory
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2022–02
  4. By: Fatkhurrohman (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of the arrival of 4G networks on poverty rates by exploiting the gradual adoption of 4G networks in 514 districts/cities in Indonesia. Robust differences-in-differences estimates indicate that 4G network adoption has a significant negative influence on poverty rates – which we argue is due to the increased access to Fintech afforded by the 4G network, hus increasing poor people's access to credit. Moreover, Fintech capitalizes on mobile app-based services, a vastly growing business that has gained popularity since 2015. In addition, this paper also finds that Fintech promotes internet-based job opportunities for impoverished individuals, increasing their income and alleviating poverty in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Fintech ; Financial Inclusion ; Poverty ; Welfare ; Indonesia JEL Classification: O33 ; O36 ; O53 ; I31 ; I32
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Ran Eilat (University of the Negev); Kfir Eliaz Eliaz (Tel-Aviv University and the University of Utah); Xiaosheng Mu (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Modern information technologies make it possible to store, analyze and trade unprecedented amounts of detailed information about individuals. This has led to public discussions on whether individuals’ privacy should be better protected by restricting the amount or the precision of information that is collected by commercial institutions on their participants. We contribute to this discussion by proposing a Bayesian approach to measure loss of privacy in a mechanism. Specifically, we define the loss of privacy associated with a mechanism as the difference between the designer’s prior and posterior beliefs about an agent’s type, where this difference is calculated using Kullback-Leibler divergence, and where the change in beliefs is triggered by actions taken by the agent in the mechanism. We consider both ex-post (for every realized type, the maximal difference in beliefs cannot exceed some threshold k) and ex-ante (the expected difference in beliefs over all type realizations cannot exceed some threshold k) measures of privacy loss. Using these notions we study the properties of optimal privacy-constrained mechanisms and the relation between welfare/profits and privacy levels.
    Keywords: Privacy, mechanism-design, relative entropy, social networks
    JEL: D47 D82
    Date: 2021–01
  6. By: Jibang Wu; Zixuan Zhang; Zhe Feng; Zhaoran Wang; Zhuoran Yang; Michael I. Jordan; Haifeng Xu
    Abstract: In today's economy, it becomes important for Internet platforms to consider the sequential information design problem to align its long term interest with incentives of the gig service providers. This paper proposes a novel model of sequential information design, namely the Markov persuasion processes (MPPs), where a sender, with informational advantage, seeks to persuade a stream of myopic receivers to take actions that maximizes the sender's cumulative utilities in a finite horizon Markovian environment with varying prior and utility functions. Planning in MPPs thus faces the unique challenge in finding a signaling policy that is simultaneously persuasive to the myopic receivers and inducing the optimal long-term cumulative utilities of the sender. Nevertheless, in the population level where the model is known, it turns out that we can efficiently determine the optimal (resp. $\epsilon$-optimal) policy with finite (resp. infinite) states and outcomes, through a modified formulation of the Bellman equation. Our main technical contribution is to study the MPP under the online reinforcement learning (RL) setting, where the goal is to learn the optimal signaling policy by interacting with with the underlying MPP, without the knowledge of the sender's utility functions, prior distributions, and the Markov transition kernels. We design a provably efficient no-regret learning algorithm, the Optimism-Pessimism Principle for Persuasion Process (OP4), which features a novel combination of both optimism and pessimism principles. Our algorithm enjoys sample efficiency by achieving a sublinear $\sqrt{T}$-regret upper bound. Furthermore, both our algorithm and theory can be applied to MPPs with large space of outcomes and states via function approximation, and we showcase such a success under the linear setting.
    Date: 2022–02

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