nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
six papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Twin transitions of decarbonisation and digitisation: a historical perspective on energy and information in European economies By Fouquet, Roger; Hippe, Ralph
  2. Capital Accumulation, Total Factor Productivity, and Employment Growth Medium-Term Relations in a Cross-Section Analysis By Robert Stehrer
  3. (Mis-)information technology: Internet use and perception of democracy in Africa By Joël Cariolle; Yasmine Elkhateeb; Mathilde Maurel
  4. Is digital government facilitating entrepreneurship? A comparative statics analysis By Joana Costa; Luís Carvalho
  5. A bibliometric analysis on Artificial intelligence in Tourism. State of the art and future research avenues By Martina Nannelli; Francesco Capone; Luciana Lazzeretti
  6. Automation trends in Portugal: implications in productivity and employment By Marta Candeias; Nuno Boavida; António Brandão Moniz

  1. By: Fouquet, Roger; Hippe, Ralph
    Abstract: This paper investigates the structural transformation associated with the ‘twin transition’ of decarbonisation and digitalisation in European economies by placing it in a broader historical perspective. With this in mind, this paper analyses the long run trends in energy intensity and communication intensity since 1850. The evidence indicates that these economies experienced a coevolution of energy and communication intensities during their industrialisation phase, followed by a divergence in the energy and communication intensities associated with the development of high tech and ICT. Overall, this reflects the dematerialisation of these European economies. The paper also analyses the speed of historical energy transitions and communication technology transitions in these economies, finding that communication transitions appear to be substantially faster than energy transitions. The evidence suggests that twin transitions of the decarbonisation and digitalisation of economies are likely to experience a process of imbalanced structural transformation (with ICT continuing to forge ahead). This expectation should guide policy recommendations – increasing the need for low carbon industry to develop and create synergies between the two industries in order to avoid the new industrial revolution being high-carbon.
    Keywords: energy transitions; ICT; twin transition; energy intensity; historical; EP/R 035288/1; ES/R009708/1
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2022–07–02
  2. By: Robert Stehrer
    Abstract: There is a widespread concern that new technologies and digitalization have strong negative impacts on labour demand. This paper analyses the impact of ICT capital accumulation and TFP growth on employment growth (persons and hours worked) and the labour income share in the pre- and post-crisis years. The cross-section results (over countries and industries) suggest that on average TFP growth has no significant influence on employment growth, and perhaps even a slightly positive one, which may point to increasing competitiveness. There is no evidence of significant impacts of the accumulation of ICT capital on employment growth, whereas a positive relationship is found between non-ICT capital accumulation and employment growth. Concerning labour income shares, results at the industry level point to a negative impact of TFP growth, but no effects of ICT capital accumulation. Domestic and foreign inter-industry linkages have – if at all – only modest impacts. These results are generally in line with some recent literature pointing towards only limited effects of new technologies on labour demand.
    JEL: C21 O33
    Date: 2022–05
  3. By: Joël Cariolle (Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International (FERDI)); Yasmine Elkhateeb (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and Cairo University); Mathilde Maurel (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CNRS, FERDI)
    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
    JEL: D72 D83 L86 P16
    Date: 2022–03
  4. By: Joana Costa (Universidade de Aveiro); Luís Carvalho (Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: Promoting entrepreneurship has become a government priority worldwide. At the same time, digital technology has been embraced by governmental authorities, particularly focusing on digital infrastructure and online service provision. In this paper, we explore whether there might be a connection between both policy ambitions – notably at the local level. To do so, we empirically assess the relationship between different dimensions of government digitalization and entrepreneurial dynamics, using panel data from 278 Portuguese municipalities between 2014 and 2019, primarily drawn from the Portuguese survey on government ICT deployment (IUTIC) and analyzed through compared regression models. Results suggest an overall positive effect of digital government efforts on entrepreneurship. However, digital openness, a user-focus and transparency initiatives seem to matter more to entrepreneurship than internally-oriented digitalization measures. The results provide evidence of the positive effect of government digitalization on entrepreneurship, suggesting that the digital transition may generate relevant social returns for local economies and thus an additional mechanism for the promotion of smart and sustained growth.
    Keywords: e-government, digital transition, entrepreneurship, local government
    JEL: H79 L26 M13
    Date: 2022–06
  5. By: Martina Nannelli (University of Florence); Francesco Capone (University of Florence); Luciana Lazzeretti (University of Florence)
    Abstract: The tourism industry has undergone a deep transformation driven by the information and communication technologies (ICTs) development that has taken hold in recent years thanks to innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its tools. Although a growing literature is being produced on this topic, scientific research on AI and tourism is still fuzzy and fragmented. The aim of this work is to explore the current state of art and possible future developments of Artificial Intelligence and its tools in the field of tourism. Different methodologies were combined to achieve this objective. The study develops first a bibliometric analysis using the ISI web database and applies then social network analysis (SNA) to identify the main authors and to explore the intellectual structure of this field through keyword co-occurrence, then a qualitative literature review has been developed to investigate the main research themes, applications and developments. The findings confirm the industry's direction towards digitization and robotization of services and identify some of the main research strands: the use of Big Data (BD) for demand forecasting and customer satisfaction measurement; Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experience for value co-creation processes; the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare and social distances issues and service robots; and finally, the smart tourism trends.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence; tourism industry; bibliometric analysis; social network analysis; literature review.
    JEL: L83 Z30 L86
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Marta Candeias (Universidade Nova de Lisboa); Nuno Boavida (Universidade Nova de Lisboa); António Brandão Moniz (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
    Abstract: Recent developments in automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are leading to a wave of innovation in organizational design and changes in the workplace. Techno-optimists even named it the ‘second machine age’, arguing that it now involves the substitution of the human brain. Other authors see this as just a continuation of previous ICT developments. Potentially, automation and AI can have significant technical, economic, and social implications in firms. The paper will answer the question: what are the implications on industrial productivity and employment in the automotive sector with the recent automation trends, including AI, in Portugal? Our approach used mixed methods to conduct statistical analyses of relevant databases and interviews with experts on R&D projects related to automation and AI implementation. Results suggest that automation can have widespread adoption in the short term in the automotive sector, but AI technologies will take more time to be adopted. Findings show that adoption of automation and AI increases productivity in firms and is dephased in time with employment implications. Investments in automation are not substituting operators but rather changing work organization. Thus, negative effects about technology and unemployment were not substantiated by our results.
    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; automation; productivity; employment; automotive industry
    JEL: L23 L62 O30 O32 O33
    Date: 2022–06

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