nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒04‒04
four papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. The determinants of AI innovation across European firms By Igna, Ioana; Venturini, Francesco
  2. The Economic Impact of Telecommunications in Egypt By Katz, Raul; Emara, Noha
  3. Nightless City: Impacts of Policymakers’ Questions on Overtime Work of Government Officials By Natsuki Arai; Masashige Hamano; Munechika Katayama; Yuki Murakami; Katsunori Yamada
  4. Closing the Italian digital gap: The role of skills, intangibles and policies By Flavio Calvino; Stefano DeSantis; Isabelle Desnoyers-James; Sara Formai; Ilaria Goretti; Silvia Lombardi; Francesco Manaresi; Giulio Perani

  1. By: Igna, Ioana (CIRCLE, Lund University); Venturini, Francesco (University of Perugia)
    Abstract: Using patent data for a panel sample of European companies between 1995 and 2016 we explore whether the innovative success in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is related to earlier firms’ research in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and identify which company characteristics and external factors shape this performance. We show that AI innovation has been developed by the most prolific firms in the field of ICT, presents strong dynamic returns (learning effects), and benefits from complementaries with knowledge developed in network and communication technologies, high-speed computing and data analysis, and more recently in cognition and imaging. AI patent productivity increases with the scale of research but is lower in presence of narrow and mature technological competencies of the firm. AI innovating companies are found to benefit from spillovers associated with innovations developed in the field of ICT by the business sector; this effect, however, is confined to frontier firms. Our findings suggest that, with the take-off of the new technology, the technological lead of top AI innovators has increased mainly due to the accumulation of internal competencies and the expanding knowledge base. These trends help explain the concentration process of the world’s data market.
    Keywords: AI; ICT; patenting; European firms
    JEL: O31 O32 O34
    Date: 2022–03–02
  2. By: Katz, Raul; Emara, Noha
    Abstract: The Egyptian telecommunication sector grew by 17% during the second quarter of the fiscal year 2020/21, the highest among all sectors in the economy, proven to be remarkably resilient in the face Covid-19 pandemic and the Delta variant. Using quarterly time-series dataset over the period 2000 – 2019, the study estimates the direct economic impact of telecommunications on economic growth measured by the revenues generated by the sector and the indirect economic effect (or spillover) of telecommunications on the economy by employing a structural econometric model based on an aggregate production function, a demand function, a supply function, and an infrastructure function to detect causality and examine long-run relationships between variables. This study uses two measures of telecommunications, mobile unique subscribers and mobile broadband capable device penetration to quantify the spillover effects of mobile telecommunications on the economy. Statistics show that telecommunications sector’s revenue comprised 4.4% of GDP, reflecting the direct effect of telecommunications on the economy. Additionally, according to the structural model, mobile unique subscribers and mobile broadband capable device penetration significantly contributed to the Egyptian GDP growth between 2000 and 2019. More specifically, the estimation results show that for every 1% increase in penetration in mobile unique subscriber penetration and mobile broadband capable device adoption, the average annual contribution to GDP growth is estimated to increase by 0.172% and 0.016%, respectively. On this basis, this study provides policy recommendations related to maximizing investment in network utilization including mobile, Internet services, and fixed broadband subscriptions. Research extensions would include testing the significance of complementarities such as improving governance measures and building human capacity for both households and firms, which are necessary to boost the impact of telecommunication on economic growth in Egypt.
    Keywords: Telecommunications; ICTs; Economic Growth; Egypt
    JEL: O1 O11 O33
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Natsuki Arai (National Chengchi University); Masashige Hamano (Waseda University); Munechika Katayama (Waseda University); Yuki Murakami (Waseda University); Katsunori Yamada (Kindai University)
    Abstract: We quantify the impact of questions submitted by policymakers on the overtime work of Japanese government officials. We use mobile phone location data to measure the nighttime population in the government-office district at hourly frequency. Our measure is much less vulnerable to measurement errors than reported overtime working hours. Exploiting the institutional constraints, we estimate responses of the nighttime population to an exogenous increase in the number of questions submitted by using the method of local projection. We find that, on average, overtime work significantly increases and persists by midnight one week after the submission of the question. Based on our results, government officials, who are male in their 20s and female in their 40s, are the most heavily affected by the question. Furthermore, the effect on overtime work is estimated to be more pronounced when everything is paperbased, suggesting that improved efficiency using information technology can mitigate overtime work.
    Keywords: mobility data, overtime work, local projection; government officials
    JEL: C22 H11
    Date: 2022–03
  4. By: Flavio Calvino (OECD); Stefano DeSantis (Italian National Institute of Statistics); Isabelle Desnoyers-James (OECD); Sara Formai (Bank of Italy); Ilaria Goretti (OECD); Silvia Lombardi (Italian National Institute of Statistics); Francesco Manaresi (OECD); Giulio Perani (Italian National Institute of Statistics)
    Abstract: The study identifies the main factors that affect the diffusion of digital technologies and their returns among Italian firms, highlighting the crucial role of public policies. It uses a unique data infrastructure that integrates information on digital technology adoption, firm performance, and workers’ and managers’ skills. The analysis shows that the low digitalisation of Italian firms, especially of SMEs, can be traced back to the low levels of three factors: i) workers’ skills, ii) management capabilities, and iii) accumulation of intangible assets. These factors are also crucial to maximise the effectiveness of public policies supporting firm digitalisation, such as the deployment of broadband infrastructure and fiscal incentives to investments in digital technologies. Finally, the analysis shows that the COVID-19 crisis contributed to further widening the digital gap between Italian firms, favouring ex-ante more digitalised companies, suggesting that public policies play a crucial role for the post-COVID-19 recovery.
    Date: 2022–03–15

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