nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒07‒11
eight papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Industrial Robots, and Information and Communication Technology: The Employment Effects in EU Labour Markets By Stefan Jestl
  2. Does my Computer Protect me from Burnout? Cross-country Evidence on the Impact of ICT use within the Job Demands-Resources Model By Sandra M. Leitner; Roman Stöllinger
  3. Digital Technologies and Financial Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa By Jean-Claude Kouladoum; Muhamadu Awal Kindzeka Wirajing; Tii N. Nchofoung
  4. Mobile Internet Access and the Desire to Emigrate By Joop Age Harm Adema; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
  5. The Digitalization of the Local Public Administration from Romania to Where? By Ana Dorina Pavel
  6. Communication break down: Typology of telecommunications provisions in regional trade agreements By Monteiro, José-Antonio; Posada, Kian Cassehgari; Tuthill, L. Lee
  7. Down the Rabbit Hole: Habit-formation in Internet Use among Unemployed Workers By Potter, Tristan
  8. Covid-19 and market power in local credit markets: the role of digitalization By Thiago Christiano Silva; Sergio Rubens Stancato de Souza; Solange Maria Guerra

  1. By: Stefan Jestl (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of industrial robots and information and communication technology (ICT) on regional employment in EU countries. The empirical analysis relies on a harmonised comprehensive regional dataset, which combines business statistics and national and regional accounts data. This rich dataset enables us to provide detailed insights into the employment effects of automation and computerisation in EU regions for the period 2001-2016. The results suggest relatively weak effects on regional total employment dynamics. However, employment effects differ between manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. Industrial robots show negative employment effects in local manufacturing industries, but positive employment effects in local non-manufacturing industries. While the negative effect is concentrated in particular local manufacturing industries, the positive effect operates in local service industries. IT investments show positive employment effects only in local manufacturing industries, while CT investments are shown to be irrelevant for employment dynamics. In contrast, software and database investments have had a predominantly negative impact on local employment in both local manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries.
    Keywords: Industrial robots, ICT, EU labour markets, employment effects
    JEL: J23 L60 O33 R11
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Sandra M. Leitner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Roman Stöllinger (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: This paper uses a large sample of employees from 35 European countries to study the direct and indirect effects of ICT use on burnout and work engagement as two opposite poles of employee psychological health, where the former comprises the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy. It applies the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model and analyses the mediating role of three job demands (work extensity, work intensity, social demands) and four job resources (social support from management or colleagues, job control, rewards) on workers’ psychological health. It accounts for the importance of the place of work for the effect of ICT use on workers’ psychological health by differentiating between four types of workers home-based workers, highly mobile workers, occasionally mobile workers, and workers who always work at the employer’s premises. The results show that ICT use is associated with lower levels of exhaustion but is unrelated to work engagement. Furthermore, work intensity, work extensity, social demands and rewards mediate the effect of ICT use on exhaustion, while job control and rewards mediate the effect of ICT use on work engagement. Our multi-group analysis attributes the negative effect of ICT use on exhaustion mainly to occasionally mobile workers and to workers who always work at the employer’s premises and highlights that the factors that mediate the effect of ICT use on workers’ psychological health differ across the four types of workers. Home-based workers stand out in two important respects first, ICT use per se is unrelated to burnout; second, only one factor – work intensity – mediates the effect of ICT use on burnout, but its effect is especially strong.
    Keywords: ICT use, burnout, work engagement, main place of work, job demands-resources model
    JEL: I10 I31 J81
    Date: 2022–06
  3. By: Jean-Claude Kouladoum (University of Moundou, Chad); Muhamadu Awal Kindzeka Wirajing (University of Dschang, Cameroon); Tii N. Nchofoung (University of Dschang, Cameroon)
    Abstract: The study investigates the digital technology-financial inclusion nexus in 43 Sub-Saharan African countries between 2004 and 2019. The methodologies are the Generalized Method of Moment (GMM) to take care of double causality and country heterogeneity and IV-Tobit to take into account the limited range in the dependent variables. At all levels, digital technology measured by ICT indicators of the subscription rate of fixed and mobile telephone users, fixed broadband, internet users and a composite indicator of digitalization have positive significant effects on financial inclusion. A further robustness check is conducted by computing a composite indicator of financial inclusion to determine how it is affected by digital technology. The findings indicate that the rate of financial inclusion in Sub Saharan Africa rises with increasing digital technologies. There should be more investments in terms of promoting financial and technological infrastructures and also in the human capital sector since financial literacy can play an important part in promoting financial stability and inclusive finance in Africa.
    Keywords: Digital Technologies; Financial inclusion; Sub Saharan Africa
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Joop Age Harm Adema; Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
    Abstract: In this paper, we present theory and global evidence on how mobile internet access affects desire and plans to emigrate. Our theory predicts that mobile internet access increases desire and plans to emigrate. Our empirical analysis combines survey data on 617,402 individuals from 2,120 subnational districts in 112 countries with data on worldwide 3G mobile internet rollout from 2008 to 2018. We show that an increase in mobile internet access increases the desire and plans to emigrate. Instrumenting 3G rollout with pre-existing 2G infrastructure suggests that the effects are causal. The effect on the desire to emigrate is particularly strong in high-income countries and for above-median-income individuals in lower-middle-income countries. In line with our theory, an important mechanism appears to be that access to the mobile internet lowers the cost of acquiring information on potential destinations. In addition to this, increased internet access reduces perceived material well-being and trust in government. Using municipal-level data from Spain, we also document that 3G rollout increased actual emigration flows.
    Keywords: migration aspirations, migration intentions, internet access
    JEL: F20 L86 D83
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Ana Dorina Pavel (Secretary of Gruiu Commune City Hall, Ilfov County, Romania)
    Abstract: The current context of the contemporary society, but also that of the information society, changed in relation to the political paradigm, the political balance of powers, more and more aspects of personal and professional life are subject to the effect of digitization, computerization and are realized, using electronic devices: laptop, tablet, smartphone. The term that defines the era of computerization is e-government, representing an essential step in the reform of public administration, its modernization process and considers the process of digitalization of the public sector a staged one, which would mediate an essential stage in the interaction between public institutions, in this case mayors and citizens, with the help of applications created for this purpose through information technology.
    Keywords: digitization, public administration, central administration, local administration, e-government, e-government, implementation, portal for e-government services, consequences
    Date: 2021–12
  6. By: Monteiro, José-Antonio; Posada, Kian Cassehgari; Tuthill, L. Lee
    Abstract: Although a growing number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) include telecommunications provisions, the collection and systematization of information on telecommunications provisions in RTAs remain limited. This paper addresses this gap by mapping and reviewing the different types of provisions on telecommunications found in RTAs that have been notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The analysis reveals that telecommunications provisions in RTAs cover a broad range of regulatory issues, from access and use to anticompetition to standards and technical regulations and cooperation. While some telecommunications provisions, in particular on telecommunications services, replicate existing WTO rules, many other provisions add clarifications or expand some of the disciplines set out in the WTO agreements. At the same time, new types of provisions have been devised to address new regulatory and technological issues, including mobile services, internet access and consumer rights. These new provisions, consistent with the overall aim of the WTO rules, aim at fostering a pro-competitive regulatory framework of the telecommunications sector.
    Keywords: World Trade Organization,Regional Trade Agreements,Telecommunications,Digital economy
    JEL: F13 F15
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Potter, Tristan (Drexel University)
    Abstract: This paper tests for habit-formation in leisure-related internet use (LIU) using time-diary data from a panel of unemployed workers. Drawing on insights from the consumption-habit literature, I use a model of intertemporal time allocation to derive a test for habit-formation in leisure activities. The data reveal strong evidence of habit-formation in LIU among the Generation-X age cohort. With the exception of reading, I find no evidence of habit-formation in offline leisure.
    Keywords: Habit-formation; leisure; internet use
    JEL: D91 J22
    Date: 2022–03–15
  8. By: Thiago Christiano Silva; Sergio Rubens Stancato de Souza; Solange Maria Guerra
    Abstract: This paper investigates how COVID-19 and digitalization affected the market power in local Brazilian credit markets. We first propose a novel methodology to estimate bank market power at the local level. We design a data-intensive local version of the Lerner index by developing heuristics to allocate national-level banks' inputs, products, and costs across their branches using large-scale datasets from many sources. We then exploit the exogenous variation in COVID-19 intensity across Brazilian localities to analyze how the pandemic influenced local market power through the effective price and marginal cost channels. Despite reducing the economic activity, COVID-19 did not impact the effective price channel: bank branches offset the decrease in credit income by reducing credit concessions. However, bank branches more affected by COVID-19 experienced increased marginal costs as they could not rapidly adjust their cost factors in response to the decrease in credit concessions. Consequently, COVID-19 reduced banks' local market power via the marginal cost channel. More digitalized bank branches enjoy cost and lending flexibility: they experience less stickiness in their cost structure and complement the reduced credit concessions in localities more affected by COVID-19 by extending credit to borrowers in remote localities less affected. Consequently, more digitalized banks improve their market power compared to traditional banks. This paper provides new insights into how crises can affect local market power in non-trivial ways.
    Keywords: COVID-19, market power, digitalization, information technology, Lerner index
    JEL: C58 D22 D40 G21 I19 O31
    Date: 2022–05

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