nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒05‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. (Mis-)information technology: Internet use and perception of democracy in Africa By Joël Cariolle; Yasmine Elkhateeb; Mathilde Maurel
  2. Change of consumers’ attitudes in response to an online privacy violation incident By Bruno Skrinjaric; Jelena Budak; Edo Rajh
  3. Facebook Shadow Profiles By Luis Aguiar; Christian Peukert; Maximilian Schaefer; Hannes Ullrich
  4. Improving Entrepreneurs' Digital Skills and Firms' Digital Competencies through Business Apps Training: A Study of Small Firms By Drydakis, Nick
  5. The Digital Trasformation in the Italian Banking Sector By Davide Arnaudo; Silvia Del Prete; Cristina Demma; Marco Manile; Andrea Orame; Marcello Pagnini; Carlotta Rossi; Paola Rossi; Giovanni Soggia
  6. The level of digitalization of Italy’s local administrations: north-south differences By Walter Giuzio; Marco Corradetti
  7. Drivers and challenges of internet of things diffusion in smart stores: A field exploration By Michael Roe; Konstantina Spanaki; Athina Ioannou; Efpraxia Zamani; Mihalis Giannakis
  8. The State of Digital Financial Services in Francophone West Africa By Jenny Aker; David Carroll
  9. Digital transformation apprehended by consumers in the social responsibility of electronic companies in Benin By Zinsou Nakou; Serge Francis Simen Nana
  10. The Innovation Index in Europe By Leogrande, Angelo; Laureti, Lucio; Costantiello, Alberto
  11. Copyright Protection in the Digital Single Market By Frank Stähler; Leander Stähler

  1. By: Joël Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Yasmine Elkhateeb (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Cairo University); Mathilde Maurel (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of internet use as a means of accessing news on African citizens' demand for and perception of the supply of democracy. This question is addressed using cross-sectional data from the last three rounds of the Afrobarometer survey for a sample of 25 African countries between 2011 and 2018. Using an instrumental variable approach to control for the possible endogeneity bias between internet use and citizens' perceptions, we found that using the internet to get news has a negative and significant effect on the demand for and on the perceived supply of democracy. The negative effect is channeled through two main factors. The first factor is the confidence in governments and governmental institutions, which is undermined by the use of the internet. In particular, we find that this internet-induced lower confidence translates into a higher probability of engaging in street protests instead of increased political participation. The second driving factor is the (mis-)information channel. On the one hand, we show that internet users' perception of the supply of democracy negatively diverges from experts' ratings. On the other hand, we document further that internet use increases the likelihood of incoherence in the respondent's stance about her demand for democracy. Finally, we show that the negative effect we found is mitigated when the internet is complemented by traditional media sources, especially the radio, to get informed. The findings of this study suggest that internet use is not neutral and tends to undermine citizens' preferences for democracy and alter perceptions about the functioning of political institutions.
    Keywords: Internet news,democracy,Africa
    Date: 2022–03
  2. By: Bruno Skrinjaric (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb); Jelena Budak (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb); Edo Rajh (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb)
    Abstract: This research examines consumers’ attitudes towards the Internet and consumer behavior after they had experienced an online privacy violation incident. This issue is assessed by applying the concept of resilience and coping strategies in reaction to stress. The focus of this empirical research is change in consumers’ attitudes and behavior online. Our analysis is performed on a survey data collected from Croatian Internet users who had experienced online privacy violation. The model was estimated by OLS and order probit method. Results show that highly resilient consumers are more likely to continue to use the Internet as frequently as before an online privacy violation incident or even more frequently. Additionally, consumers with higher resilience are also more likely not to increase their level of cautiousness after an online privacy violation incident and are more likely not to change their attitude towards the Internet. Consumers with higher online privacy awareness and online privacy concern are more likely to increase their cautiousness on the Internet after the online privacy violation incident.
    Keywords: consumer attitudes towards the Internet; consumer behavior; online privacy violation; resilience; Croatia
    JEL: D12 D91
    Date: 2022–04
  3. By: Luis Aguiar; Christian Peukert; Maximilian Schaefer; Hannes Ullrich
    Abstract: Data is often at the core of digital products and services, especially when related to online advertising. This has made data protection and privacy a major policy concern. When surfing the web, consumers leave digital traces that can be used to build user profiles and infer preferences. We quantify the extent to which Facebook can track web behavior outside of their own platform. The network of engagement buttons, placed on third-party websites, lets Facebook follow users as they browse the web. Tracking users outside its core platform enables Facebook to build shadow profiles. For a representative sample of US internet users, 52 percent of websites visited, accounting for 40 percent of browsing time, employ Facebook’s tracking technology. Small differences between Facebook users and non-users are largely explained by differing user activity. The extent of shadow profiling Facebook may engage in is similar on privacy-sensitive domains and across user demographics, documenting the possibility for indiscriminate tracking.
    Keywords: platforms, data, tracking, privacy, Facebook
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Drydakis, Nick (Anglia Ruskin University)
    Abstract: The lack of awareness of digital services and outcomes is a concern in business environments since small firms need to improve their digital competencies. The present exploratory study investigated whether business apps training was associated with entrepreneurs' and firms' digital advancements. The business apps training was offered to migrant entrepreneurs running small firms in Athens (Greece) over three months, with data collected before and after the training. The analysis revealed that business apps training was positively associated with entrepreneurs' attitudes toward technology, willingness to change (relating to technology/skills/operations), and internet/digital skills, as well as increased use of business apps. Moreover, the training was positively associated with firms' digital competencies related to communication, networking, social media, customer relationship management, payments, accounting and finance, and project management operations. Furthermore, the business apps training was positively associated with migrant entrepreneurs' integration into Greek society. Given the increased number of migrants in Europe, factors that positively impact their entrepreneurship and integration merit consideration. The study provides researchers with a systematic method for evaluating the association between business app training and entrepreneurs' and firms' digital advancements.
    Keywords: training, entrepreneurs, small firms, business apps, digital skills, digital competencies, artificial intelligence, integration
    JEL: M53 L26 O31 O33
    Date: 2022–04
  5. By: Davide Arnaudo (Bank of Italy); Silvia Del Prete (Bank of Italy); Cristina Demma (Bank of Italy); Marco Manile (Bank of Italy); Andrea Orame (Bank of Italy); Marcello Pagnini (Bank of Italy); Carlotta Rossi (Bank of Italy); Paola Rossi (Bank of Italy); Giovanni Soggia (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset based on the results of a survey of almost 280 Italian banks (Regional Bank Lending Survey), this paper presents early evidence on the digital transformation of the Italian banking sector over the period 2007-2018. By building a composite indicator that measures the digital supply of financial services, we show a growth in digitalization over the entire period, with a clear acceleration since 2013. The adoption of digital technologies is not homogeneous across banks and, to an even greater extent, business areas: digitalization started in payment services at the end of the 1990s and then spread to asset management, whereas the use of digital channels in lending is still less frequent. More recently, banks have also implemented new FinTech projects, mainly for digital payments and asset management activities. Lastly, we find a positive correlation between the intensity of technological innovation and bank profitability, and a negative correlation with the number of branches, signalling a potential substitution effect between physical and digital channels.
    Keywords: banking system, Big Data, financial services, FinTech, technological innovation
    JEL: G10 G21 G23 L86 O33
    Date: 2022–04
  6. By: Walter Giuzio (Bank of Italy); Marco Corradetti (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper examines indicators of the level of digitalization of local administrations in Italy, identifying differences between the South and the rest of the country. In particular, the paper analyses the following elements: ability to provide online services, basic IT infrastructure, integration of available technologies, governance of innovation processes, and training activities. Italy ranks 18th among 28 European countries for digital public services availability. Only one in three administrations are able to provide services to citizens and businesses through their websites. The South has basic IT infrastructure and systems integration in line with the Centre-North, but scores lower in the provision of online services, governance of innovation and training activities.
    Keywords: e-government, online services, digitalization, governance, public administration.
    JEL: H83 O33 O38
    Date: 2022–04
  7. By: Michael Roe (Loughborough University); Konstantina Spanaki (Audencia Business School); Athina Ioannou (Surrey Business School [Guildford] - UNIS - University of Surrey); Efpraxia Zamani (University of Sheffield [Sheffield]); Mihalis Giannakis (Audencia Business School)
    Abstract: The digitally disruptive environment has evolved rapidly due to the introduction of new advancements within the field of smart applications. Applications of one of the most prominent technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), often appear in the retail sector, where smart services have transformed the customer experience holistically. Presented in this paper are the findings from an exploratory field study in the retail service sector, which drew on the views of experienced practitioners about the smart store experience and the associated changes. The paper presents an overview of the drivers of smart retail service diffusion and the relevant challenges, such as the business expectations and the heterogeneity of devices. The arising themes indicate that IoT security is a major challenge for businesses installing IoT devices in their journey towards smart store transformation. The paper highlights the importance of a secure data-sharing IoT environment that respects customer privacy as the smart experience in-store offers data-driven insights and services. Implications for research and practice are discussed in terms of the customer experience relevant to the identified challenges.
    Keywords: Internet of Things,retail,smart store,security,privacy,diffusion of innovations,field study
    Date: 2022–05
  8. By: Jenny Aker (Tufts University [Medford]); David Carroll (Tufts University [Medford])
    Abstract: The introduction of digital financial services (DFS) offers new opportunities to reduce the transaction costs associated with money transfers. Over the past decade, the number of DFS deployments has increased substantially, with over 300 deployments worldwide as of 2020. While there is substantial potential for such services to address the constraints to financial inclusion, especially in West Africa, widespread adoption and usage of these services remains relatively concentrated in particular markets. Economic research shows promise in terms of DFS increasing access to money transfers, smoothing consumption and reducing poverty in the long-term, but few studies have more sustained impacts. This can, in part, be explained by the agent network in several countries and the regulatory framework. We conclude by providing recommendations for the further growth of mobile money in West Africa.
    Keywords: West Africa,Digital Financial Services (DFS),Mobile money,Financial inclusion,Agents,Interoperability
    Date: 2022–04–07
  9. By: Zinsou Nakou (ESP - École Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar - UCAD - Université Cheikh Anta Diop [Dakar, Sénégal]); Serge Francis Simen Nana (ESP - École Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar - UCAD - Université Cheikh Anta Diop [Dakar, Sénégal])
    Abstract: The perceived influence of consumers of symbolic CSR on substantive CSR through digital transformation in electronics companies in Benin deserves objective analysis. In this perspective, it is imperative to adopt a quantitative methodological approach which has made it possible to validate the measuring instruments constructed and to test research hypotheses using a questionnaire drawn up with 442 consumers from 65 electronics companies whose data were collected. been inserted into SPSS 21.0 and Amos 21.0 software to bring out the empirical results treated. Interpretation of these results indicated that the CSR activities of these companies strengthen the capacity for technology ownership and reduce organizational risks and costs. Also, CSR is strengthened by digital transformation by promoting incentives for Beninese electronics companies to invest in digital. The same results show that the three characteristics (sustainability, adjustment and impact) of symbolic CSR identified are important factors and that if a company engages in CSR activities, it should consider that they have a significant influence on their performance relationship with substantive CSR through digital transformation.
    Abstract: L'influence perçue par les consommateurs de la RSE symbolique sur la RSE substantive par l'entremise de la transformation digitale dans les entreprises d'électroniques au Bénin mérite une analyse objective. Dans cette perspective, il est impératif d'adopter une approche méthodologique quantitative qui a permis de valider les instruments de mesure construits et de tester des hypothèses de recherche en utilisant un questionnaire élaboré auprès de 442 consommateurs de 65 entreprises d'électroniques dont les données ont été insérées dans les logiciels SPSS 21.0 et Amos 21.0 pour faire ressortir des résultats empiriques traités. L'interprétation de ces résultats a indiqué que les activités de RSE de ces entreprises renforcent les capacités d'appropriation des technologies et réduisent les risques et coûts organisationnels. Aussi, la RSE est-elle renforcée par la transformation digitale en favorisant les incitations des entreprises d'électroniques béninoises à investir dans le digital. Les mêmes résultats traduisent que les trois caractéristiques (durabilité, ajustement et impact) de la RSE symbolique relevées sont des facteurs importants et que si une entreprise s'engage dans des activités de RSE, elle devra considérer qu'elles ont une influence significative dans leur relation avec la RSE substantive au travers de la transformation digitale.
    Keywords: electronics companies,digital transformation,substantive CSR,symbolic CSR,Benin,entreprises d’électroniques,transformation digitale,RSE substantive,Bénin,RSE symbolique
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Leogrande, Angelo; Laureti, Lucio; Costantiello, Alberto
    Abstract: The following article analyzes the determinants of the innovation index in Europe. The data refer to the European Innovation Scoreboard-EIS of the European Commission for the period between 2010 and 2019 for 36 countries. The data are analyzed using the following econometric techniques: Panel Data with Random Effects, Panel Data with Fixed Effects, Dynamic Panel Data, Pooled OLS, WLS. The results show that the Innovation Index is negatively connected to some variables, among which the most significant are "GDP per capita", "R&D expenditure public sector", "Venture capital", "Tertiary education", and positively connected to some variables among which the most relevant are: "Government procurement of advanced technology products", "Average annual population growth", "Finance and support", "Human resources", "Marketing or organisational innovators", "Linkages". A clustering was then carried out using the unsupervised k-Means algorithm optimized with the Silhouette coefficient which shows the presence of 2 clusters per value of the Innovation Index. Eight machine learning algorithms has been used for prediction with real data. The Tree Ensemble Regression algorithm has been chosen as best performer. A further prediction has been made with the augmented data. The result shows that the best performing algorithm is Linear Regression with an innovation index value predicted to grow by approximately 3.38%.
    Keywords: Innovation, and Invention: Processes and Incentives; Management of Technological Innovation and R&D; Diffusion Processes; Open Innovation.
    JEL: O30 O31 O32 O33 O34
    Date: 2022–04–23
  11. By: Frank Stähler; Leander Stähler
    Abstract: This paper scrutinizes the effects of the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market on platform competition in media markets. Platforms that are Online Content-Sharing Service Providers must have a license agreement with collective management organizations that control the content platform users may (or must not) upload to the platform. The paper shows that the new directive may imply market concentration and an aggregate welfare loss. The reason is that only users of the large platform will be allowed to upload content if the content asset controlled by a collective management organization is sufficiently valuable and if network effects are strong.
    Keywords: copyright protection, IPRs, content platforms, trade in services, digital services
    JEL: D43 F12 L86
    Date: 2022

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.