nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
29 papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Mobile Internet Adoption in West Africa By Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio; Lach,Samantha; Masaki,Takaaki
  2. How Do Digital Technologies Affect Household Welfare in Developing Countries ? Evidence from Senegal By Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Lach,Samantha; Masaki,Takaaki; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio
  3. Digitalization and entrepreneur’s gender: Evidence for Spanish SMEs in the service and retail sectors. By Alfonso Expósito; Amparo Sanchis-Llopis; Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis
  4. Upgrading the ICT Regulatory Framework: Toward Accelerated and Inclusive Digital Connectivity By Serafica, Ramonette B.; Oren, Queen Cel A.
  5. A Demand-Side View of Mobile Internet Adoption in the Global South By Chen,Rong - DECIG
  6. Mobile Internet and the Rise of Political Tribalism in Europe By Marco Manacorda; Guido Tabellini; Andrea Tesei
  7. Competition Reform and Household Welfare : A Microsimulation Analysis of the Telecommunication Sector in Ethiopia By Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio; Araar,Abdelkrim
  8. Does information substitute or complement energy? - A mediation analysis of their relationship in European economies By Theile, Philipp; Farag, Markos; Kopp, Thomas
  9. Using Twitter to Evaluate the Perception of Service Delivery in Data-Poor Environments By Braley,Alia Anne; Fraiberger,Samuel Paul; Tas,Emcet Oktay
  10. Regulating Personal Data : Data Models and Digital Services Trade By Ferracane,Martina Francesca; Van Der Marel,Erik Leendert
  11. Improving Business Practices and the Boundary of the Entrepreneur : A Randomized Experiment Comparing Training, Consulting, Insourcing and Outsourcing By Anderson,Stephen J.; Mckenzie,David J.
  12. Achieving Privacy : Costs of Compliance and Enforcement of Data Protection Regulation By Chander,Anupam; Abraham,Meaza; Chandy,Sandeep; Fang,Yuan; Park,Dayoung; Yu,Isabel
  13. Using Mobile Data to Understand Urban Mobility Patterns in Freetown, Sierra Leone By Arroyo Arroyo,Fatima; Fernandez Gonzalez,Marta; Matekenya,Dunstan; Espinet Alegre,Xavier
  14. DigitALL for Her: Futurecasting Platform Work for Women in Rural Philippines By Peña, Paul John M.; Yao, Vince Eisen C.
  15. Applying Machine Learning and Geolocation Techniques to Social Media Data (Twitter) to Develop a Resource for Urban Planning By Milusheva,Svetoslava Petkova; Marty,Robert Andrew; Bedoya Arguelles,Guadalupe; Williams,Sarah Elizabeth; Resor,Elizabeth Landsdowne; Legovini,Arianna
  16. Development Research at High Geographic Resolution : An Analysis of Night Lights, Firms, and Poverty in India Using the SHRUG Open Data Platform By Asher,Sam; Lunt,Tobias; Matsuura,Ryu; Novosad,Paul Michael
  17. German Financial State Aid during COVID-19 Pandemic: Higher Impact among Digitalized Self-Employed By Bertschek, Irene; Block, Jörn; Kritikos, Alexander S.; Stiel, Caroline
  18. Social Media and Newsroom Production Decisions By Julia Cagé; Nicolas Hervé; Béatrice Mazoyer
  19. Roads Development Optimization for All-Season Service Accessibility Improvement in Rural Nepal Using a Novel Cost-Time Model and Evolutionary Algorithm By Heyns,Andries Michiel; Banick,Robert Steven; Regmi,Suraj
  20. School Infrastructure in the Philippines: Where Are We Now and Where Should We Be Heading? By Navarro, Adoracion M.
  21. The Cost of a Nutritious Diet in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal By Dizon,Felipe Jr Fadullon; Wang,Zetianyu; Mulmi,Prajula
  22. Education and Society: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Technological Development and Knowledge Transfer By Zhang, Shoucheng
  23. Liberalization, Technology Adoption, and Stock Returns : Evidence from Telecom By Arezki,Rabah; Dequiedt,Vianney; Fan,Yuting; Rossotto,Carlo Maria
  24. What Prevents More Small Firms from Using Professional Business Services ? An Information and Quality-Rating Experiment in Nigeria By Anderson,Stephen J.; Mckenzie,David J.
  25. Is Agriculture and Fisheries Ascending the Value-Added Ladder? The State of Agricultural Value Chains in the Philippines By Adriano, Lourdes S.; Adriano, Karlo Fermin S.
  26. Technology Within and Across Firms By Cirera,Xavier; Comin,Diego Adolfo; Vargas Da Cruz,Marcio Jose; Lee,Kyungmin
  27. A Map of the Poor or a Poor Map ? By Corral Rodas,Paul Andres; Kastelic,Kristen Himelein; Mcgee,Kevin Robert; Molina,Isabel
  28. Measuring Total Factor Productivity Using the Enterprise Surveys : A Methodological Note By Francis,David C.; Karalashvili,Nona; Maemir,Hibret Belete; Rodriguez Meza,Jorge Luis
  29. The Demand for Advice : Theory and Empirical Evidence from Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa By Naeher,Dominik; Schundeln,Matthias

  1. By: Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio; Lach,Samantha; Masaki,Takaaki
    Abstract: Mobile broadband internet is the main technology through which individuals access the internet in developing countries. Understanding the barriers to broadband adoption is thus a priority in designing policies aiming to expand access and close the digital divide across socioeconomic groups and territories. This paper exploits data from harmonized household expenditure surveys in seven countries in West Africa in 2018/19—a subregion with one of the lowest levels of mobile internet penetration in the world—to identify the main factors that limit mobile broadband internet adoption. Results show that low levels of household consumption and prices of services are two key constraints. One standard deviation increase in household expenditure, about US$65 per capita per month, is associated with a 6.5 percentage point rise in the probability of adoption, while one standard deviation drop in the price of mobile internet services, about US$3.60, increases the probability of adoption by 2.4 percentage points. Other determinants include demographic characteristics (sex, age, language, urban location), socioeconomic features (educational attainment, sector of employment), and other factors linked to policy (access to electricity, ownership of assets, alternative means of internet access). Results are robust to specifications focusing only in areas with mobile internet coverage (3G).
    Keywords: Information Technology,Telecommunications Infrastructure,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2021–03–01
  2. By: Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Lach,Samantha; Masaki,Takaaki; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio
    Abstract: Developing countries are implementing policies expanding the adoption and productive use of digital technologies to advance economic development and inclusion. Yet, systematic analyses of the welfare and distributional effects of digital technologies on households and individuals—especially broadband mobile internet—remain limited. To fill this knowledge gap, this paper proposes a simple analytical framework to offer insights on how more equitable access to digital technologies affects household welfare, which can be organized into four areas: (1) determinants of adoption of digital technologies; (2) distributional effects of increasing competition in the information and communication technology industry; (3) welfare and poverty effects of coverage and access to digital technologies; and (4) local economic effects of access to digital technologies. To illustrate the relevance and replicability of this framework across developing countries, the analysis is carried out for Senegal, a country that has recently experienced a rapid expansion in digital infrastructure.
    Keywords: Information Technology,Telecommunications Infrastructure,Inequality,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2021–03–10
  3. By: Alfonso Expósito (University of Málaga, Spain); Amparo Sanchis-Llopis (University of Valencia and ERICES, Spain); Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis (University of Valencia and ERICES, Spain)
    Abstract: This study investigates the role of the entrepreneur’s gender on digitalization strategies undertaken by SMEs in the service and retail sectors. Specifically, we aim at testing how the gender of the entrepreneur may affect investment in software and equipment related to information and communication technologies (ICT). We use a sample of 1,041 Spanish businesses and estimate a bivariate probit model for these two decisions, controlling for other entrepreneurial and business characteristics. Results indicate a higher probability of male entrepreneurs to invest in software and ICT equipment, as compared to women. Furthermore, we find that entrepreneurial risk-taking and business’ innovation capabilities are important drivers for engaging in these two digitalisation strategies, regardless of the gender of the entrepreneur, and that entrepreneurial proactiveness is especially important for women entrepreneurs, since the positive impact of entrepreneurial proactiveness on the probability to engage in digitalisation strategies is stronger in women-led businesses. This study provides new empirical evidence on the role of entrepreneur’s gender in SMEs regarding their digitalisation strategies.
    Keywords: Gender of entrepreneur; small and medium-enterprises; digitalisation strategies; information and communication technologies; bivariate probit model.
    JEL: C35 J16 M21 L26
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Serafica, Ramonette B.; Oren, Queen Cel A.
    Abstract: Across different metrics, the information and communications technology (ICT) performance of the Philippines remains subpar compared to ASEAN members and other countries at the same level of development. The quality of the country’s ICT regulatory environment, composed of regulatory authority, regulatory mandate, regulatory regime, and competition model, is significantly below what is considered international best practice. Consequently, this has impeded the use of various technological solutions available to bridge the gap in digital inequality. Although significant policy changes have recently been introduced, more reforms are needed to achieve inclusive and accelerated digital connectivity. Priorities include reforming the licensing regime, formulating a spectrum policy and plan, and reinventing the NTC to ensure regulatory independence. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: ICT;telecommunications;digital;regulation;broadband;information and communications technology
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Chen,Rong - DECIG
    Abstract: Mobile technologies show great potential to accelerate internet access and usage, especially in developing countries. A better understanding of key drivers and main constraints for mobile internet access is the first prerequisite for governments to design targeted policy solutions. This study exploits a household survey that collects information on information and communications technology access and usage at the household and individual levels in 22 countries in the Global South. The study finds that in addition to infrastructure investment, which has been the main focus of many developing countries, other demand-side factors are of critical importance. Across the developing world, females, the elderly, those who live in rural areas, and those who have a relatively low level of income or education are less likely to adopt mobile internet. Social network effects are found to have a significant positive impact on the usage of mobile internet. Those who have more close friends using an online social network are more likely to adopt mobile internet. Individuals whose five closest friends are using an online social network (such as Facebook or Twitter) are 63.1 percent more likely to adopt it than those without any close friends using such online social network sites/apps. Across regions, although the factors affecting the adoption of mobile internet remain largely the same, the magnitudes of their impacts vary. In Asia, gender differences are negatively associated with mobile internet. In Africa, the impact of education level is more salient than in the other two regions, implying an urgent need to improve digital literacy.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Information Technology,Telecommunications Infrastructure,Energy Policies&Economics,Gender and Development
    Date: 2021–03–21
  6. By: Marco Manacorda; Guido Tabellini; Andrea Tesei
    Abstract: We study the political effects of the diffusion of mobile Internet between 2007 and 2017, using data on electoral outcomes and on mobile Internet signal across the 84,564 municipalities of 22 European countries. We find that access to mobile Internet increased voters’ support for right-wing populist parties and for parties running on extreme socially conservative platforms, primarily in areas with greater economic deprivation. Using survey data, we also show that mobile Internet increased communitarian attitudes, such as nationalism and dislike of strangers and minorities. We conclude that mobile Internet benefitted right-wing populist parties because, in line with findings in social psychology, it fostered offline tribalism.
    Keywords: populism, communitarianism, Europe, mobile Internet
    JEL: D72 D91 L86
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso; Granguillhome Ochoa,Rogelio; Araar,Abdelkrim
    Abstract: This paper presents a novel method for estimating the likely welfare effects of competition reforms for both current and new consumers. Using household budget survey data from 2015/16 for Ethiopia and assuming a reform scenario that dilutes the market share of the telecommunications state-owned monopoly to 45 percent, the model predicts a 25.3 percent reduction in the price of mobile services and an increase of 4.6 million new users of mobile phone services. This reform is expected to generate a welfare gain of 1.37 percent among all consumers. Poverty rates are expected to decline by 0.31 percentage point, driven by a reduction of 0.22 percentage point for current consumers and 0.09 percentage point among new users. Inequality would increase by 0.23 Gini point since better-off consumers are more likely to reap the benefits of greater competition. This method represents a powerful tool for supporting the analysis of competition reforms in developing countries, particularly in sectors known for excluding significant segments of the population due to high consumer prices.
    Keywords: Inequality,ICT Economics,Telecommunications Infrastructure,Information Technology
    Date: 2021–01–20
  8. By: Theile, Philipp; Farag, Markos; Kopp, Thomas
    Abstract: In its decarbonization efforts, the European Union aims to decrease energy consumption through technological advances. One of the most prominent advances is the increased extension and utilization of digital information and communication technologies. However, there is little understanding of how precisely digitalization and energy consumption are related. This study aims to empirically analyze the impact and transmission channels of digitalization on energy consumption in the European Union. We build our empirical analysis in two steps. First, we employ the two-step sys-GMM estimator to examine the direct impact of digitalization on energy consumption, controlling for the effects of the mediation variables. Second, we use the causal mediation approach to estimate the relative importance of each mediation variable through which digitalization affects energy consumption. We rely on a sample of 28 European countries from 2007 to 2019. The empirical results suggest that digitalization significantly reduces energy consumption. We find that a 10% increase in digitalization reduces energy consumption by 0.4%, on average. The causal mediation analysis reveals that digitalization has an indirect positive effect on energy consumption through GDP per capita and industrial structure and an indirect negative impact through financial development and human capital.
    Keywords: Digitalization,Mediation Analysis,Energy Consumption,Digitalization indices,Embodied Energy,Panel data,Two-step sys-GMM
    JEL: C33 C50 Q41 Q43 Q55
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Braley,Alia Anne; Fraiberger,Samuel Paul; Tas,Emcet Oktay
    Abstract: Evaluating service delivery needs in data-poor environments presents a particularly difficult problem for policymakers. The places where the need for social services are most acute are often the very same places where assessing policy interventions is the most challenging. This paper uses Twitter data to gain insights into service delivery needs in a data-poor environment. Specifically, it examines the development priorities of citizens in the north- western region of Pakistan between 2007 and 2020, using natural language processing techniques (NLP) and sentiment analysis of 9.5 million tweets generated by 20,000 unique Twitter users. The analysis reveals that service delivery priorities in this context are centered on access to education, healthcare, food, and clean water. The findings provide baseline data for future on-the-ground research and development initiatives. In addition, the methodology used in this paper demonstrates both current resources and areas in need of future work in the use of NLP techniques in analyzing social media data in other contexts.
    Keywords: ICT Applications,Hydrology,Food Security,Nutrition,Educational Sciences,Information Technology
    Date: 2021–03–10
  10. By: Ferracane,Martina Francesca; Van Der Marel,Erik Leendert
    Abstract: While regulations on personal data diverge widely between countries, it is nonetheless possible to identify three main models based on their distinctive features: one model based on open transfers and processing of data, a second model based on conditional transfers and processing, and third a model based on limited transfers and processing. These three data models have become a reference for many other countries when defining their rules on the cross-border transfer and domestic processing of personal data. The study reviews their main characteristics and systematically identifies for 116 countries worldwide to which model they adhere for the two components of data regulation (i.e. cross-border transfers and domestic processing of data). In a second step, using gravity analysis, the study estimates whether countries sharing the same data model exhibit higher or lower digital services trade compared to countries with different regulatory data models. The results show that sharing the open data model for cross-border data transfers is positively associated with trade in digital services, while sharing the conditional model for domestic data processing is also positively correlated with trade in digital services. Country-pairs sharing the limited model, instead, exhibit a double whammy: they show negative trade correlations throughout the two components of data regulation. Robustness checks control for restrictions in digital services, the quality of digital infrastructure, as well as for the use of alternative data sources.
    Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules,Information Security&Privacy,Export Competitiveness,ICT Legal and Regulatory Framework,ICT Policy and Strategies,ICT Applications
    Date: 2021–03–23
  11. By: Anderson,Stephen J.; Mckenzie,David J.
    Abstract: Many small firms lack the finance and marketing skills needed for firm growth. The standard approach in many business support programs is to attempt to train the entrepreneur to develop these skills, through classroom-based training or personalized consulting. However, rather than requiring the entrepreneur to be a jack-of-all-trades, an alternative is to move beyond the boundary of the entrepreneur and link firms to these skills in a marketplace through insourcing workers with functional expertise or outsourcing tasks to professional specialists. A randomized experiment in Nigeria tests the relative effectiveness of these four different approaches to improving business practices. Insourcing and outsourcing both dominate business training; and do at least as well as business consulting at one-half of the cost. Moving beyond the entrepreneurial boundary enables firms to use higher quality digital marketing practices, innovate more, and achieve greater sales and profits growth over a two-year horizon.
    Keywords: Financial Sector Policy,ICT Applications,Information Technology,Financial Sector and Social Assistance
    Date: 2020–12–17
  12. By: Chander,Anupam; Abraham,Meaza; Chandy,Sandeep; Fang,Yuan; Park,Dayoung; Yu,Isabel
    Abstract: Is privacy a luxury for the rich world? Remarkably, there is a dearth of literature evaluating whether data privacy is too costly for companies to implement, or too expensive for governments to enforce. This paper is the first to offer a review of surveys of costs of compliance, and to summarize national budgets for enforcement. The study shows that while privacy may indeed prove costly for companies to implement, it is not too costly for governments to enforce. This study will help inform governments as they fashion and implement privacy laws to address the “privacy enforcement gap†—the disparity between the privacy on the books, and the privacy on the ground.
    Keywords: Information Security&Privacy,ICT Applications,Health Care Services Industry,International Trade and Trade Rules
    Date: 2021–03–23
  13. By: Arroyo Arroyo,Fatima; Fernandez Gonzalez,Marta; Matekenya,Dunstan; Espinet Alegre,Xavier
    Abstract: In recent years, researchers have demonstrated that digital footprints from mobile phones can be exploited to generate data that are useful for transport planning, disaster response, and other development activities—thanks mainly to the high penetration rate of mobile phones even in low-income regions. Most recently, in the effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, these data can be used and explored to track mobility patterns and monitor the results of lockdown measures. However, as rightly noted by other scholars, most of the work has been limited to proofs of concept or academic work: it is hard to point to any real-world use cases. In contrast, this paper uses mobile data to obtain insight on urban mobility patterns, such as number of trips, average trip length, and relation between poverty, mobility, and areas of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. These data were used in preparation of an urban mobility lending operation. Additionally, the paper describes good practices in the following areas: accessing mobile data from telecom operators, frameworks for generating origin and destination matrices, and validation of results.
    Keywords: Transport Services,Telecommunications Infrastructure,ICT Applications
    Date: 2021–01–20
  14. By: Peña, Paul John M.; Yao, Vince Eisen C.
    Abstract: The global megatrend of the rise of digital platforms has increased labor opportunities for both men and women. Developing countries such as the Philippines have the potential to capitalize on this expansion, but opportunities may be limited where fundamental access issues exist. Gender norms and care work also play a role in determining access to opportunities and explaining alleged wage disparities. This study investigates the vision on digital jobs for the Philippines, the challenges faced, the key policy issues about digital jobs, and how the future of digital jobs looks like from the frontier of current practice and lived experiences of those specializing in online freelancing in rural areas of the Philippines. With gender and development in the countryside as the main interest of this study, we distill insights and identify key themes from a series of qualitative data collection sessions using a critical narrative approach, as well as a trendspotting and futurecasting approach to understanding the frontier. According to the literature, early adopters of online freelancing in the countryside face significant challenges in terms of access to skills, motivation, material, and usage, as well as other fundamental barriers that limit opportunities, despite ongoing programs to support the expansion of the ICT industry beyond Metro Manila and key urban cities. Policy recommendations are developed with the goal of leveling the playing field for women interested or engaged in platform work in the countryside. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: platform work;freelancing;gender and development;countryside development;ICT
    Date: 2022
  15. By: Milusheva,Svetoslava Petkova; Marty,Robert Andrew; Bedoya Arguelles,Guadalupe; Williams,Sarah Elizabeth; Resor,Elizabeth Landsdowne; Legovini,Arianna
    Abstract: With all the recent attention focused on big data, it is easy to overlook that basic vital statistics remain difficult to obtain in most of the world. This project set out to test whether an openly available dataset (Twitter) could be transformed into a resource for urban planning and development. The hypothesis is tested by creating road traffic crash location data, which are scarce in most resource-poor environments but essential for addressing the number one cause of mortality for children over age five and young adults. The research project scraped 874,588 traffic-related tweets in Nairobi, Kenya, applied a machine learning model to capture the occurrence of a crash, and developed an improved geoparsing algorithm to identify its location. The project geolocated 32,991 crash reports in Twitter for 2012-20 and clustered them into 22,872 unique crashes to produce one of the first crash maps for Nairobi. A motorcycle delivery service was dispatched in real-time to verify a subset of crashes, showing 92 percent accuracy. Using a spatial clustering algorithm, portions of the road network (less than 1 percent) were identified where 50 percent of the geolocated crashes occurred. Even with limitations in the representativeness of the data, the results can provide urban planners useful information to target road safety improvements where resources are limited.
    Keywords: ICT Applications,Disease Control&Prevention,Public Health Promotion,Road Safety,Intelligent Transport Systems,Transport Services,Crime and Society
    Date: 2020–12–04
  16. By: Asher,Sam; Lunt,Tobias; Matsuura,Ryu; Novosad,Paul Michael
    Abstract: The SHRUG is an open data platform describing multidimensional socioeconomic development across 600,000 villages and towns in India. This paper presents three illustrative analyses only possible with high-resolution data. First, it confirms that nighttime lights are highly significant proxies for population, employment, per-capita consumption, and electrification at very local levels. However, elasticities between night lights and these variables are far lower in time series than in cross section, and vary widely across context and level of aggregation. Next, this study shows that the distribution of manufacturing employment across villages follows a power law: the majority of rural Indians have considerably less access to manufacturing employment than is suggested by aggregate data. Third, a poverty mapping exercise explores local heterogeneity in living standards and estimates the potential targeting improvement from allocating programs at the village- rather than at the district-level. The SHRUG can serve as a model for open high-resolution data in developing countries.
    Keywords: Energy Policies&Economics,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,General Manufacturing,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Construction Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Food&Beverage Industry,Inequality,ICT Policy and Strategies,ICT Legal and Regulatory Framework
    Date: 2021–02–09
  17. By: Bertschek, Irene (ZEW Mannheim); Block, Jörn (University of Trier); Kritikos, Alexander S. (DIW Berlin); Stiel, Caroline (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: In response to strong revenue and income losses that a large share of the self-employed faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the German federal government introduced a €50bn emergency aid program. Based on real-time online-survey data comprising more than 20,000 observations, we analyze the impact of this program on the subjective survival probability. In particular, we investigate how the digitalization level of the self-employed influences the program's effectiveness. Employing propensity score matching, we find that the emergency aid program had only moderately positive effects on the confidence of the self-employed to survive the crisis. However, the self-employed whose businesses were highly digitalized, benefitted much more from the state aid compared to those whose businesses were less digitalized. This holds true only for those self-employed in advanced digitalization stages, who started the digitalization processes already before the crisis. Moreover, taking a regional perspective, we find suggestive evidence that the quality of the regional broadband infrastructure matters in the sense that it increases the effectiveness of the emergency aid program. Our findings show the interplay between governmental support programs, the digitalization levels of entrepreneurs, and the regional digital infrastructure. The study helps public policy to increase the impact of crisis-related policy instruments.
    Keywords: self-employment, emergency aid, treatment effects, COVID-19, entrepreneurship, digitalization, resilience
    JEL: C14 H43 L25 L26 J68 O33
    Date: 2022–09
  18. By: Julia Cagé (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Nicolas Hervé (INA - Institut National de l'Audiovisuel); Béatrice Mazoyer (Médialab - Médialab (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: Social media affects not only the way we consume news, but also the way news is produced, including by traditional media outlets. In this paper, we study the propagation of information from social media to mainstream media, and investigate whether news editors' editorial decisions are influenced by the popularity of news stories on social media To do so, we build a novel dataset including a representative sample of all the tweets produced in French between August 1st 2018 and July 31st 2019 (1.8 billion tweets, around 70% of all tweets in French) and the content published online by 200 mainstream media outlets. We then develop novel algorithms to identify and link events on social and mainstream media. To isolate the causal impact of popularity, we rely on the structure of the Twitter network and propose a new instrument based on the interaction between measures of user centrality and "social media news pressure" at the time of the event. We show that story popularity has a positive effect on media coverage, and that this effect varies depending on the media outlets' characteristics, in particular on whether they use a paywall. Finally, we investigate consumers' reaction to a surge in social media popularity. Our findings shed new light on our understanding of how editors decide on the coverage for stories, and question the welfare effects of social media.
    Keywords: Internet,Information spreading,News editors,Network analysis,Social media,Twitter,Text analysis
    Date: 2022–05–31
  19. By: Heyns,Andries Michiel; Banick,Robert Steven; Regmi,Suraj
    Abstract: Existing methods of prioritizing rural roads for construction in hilly and mountainous settings require expensive data collection or major simplifications of ground conditions. Traditional social surplus based-methods favor economic and political decision criteria over social criteria, despite evidence of the latter's importance, and struggle to scale beyond major roads to feeder roads, forcing local governments with limited capacity to adopt ad-hoc alternative criteria. Using roads proposed for construction in Nepal's remote Karnali province, this paper develops a scalable method to prioritize these roads for inclusion in construction plans with the aim of optimizing potential accessibility improvements to specified services in dry and monsoon seasons -- within Karnali's infrastructure budget constraints. Road-specific improvements in accessibility to services are measured by estimating accessibility changes resulting from each proposed road within a multimodal accessibility model. In this paper, walking across Karnali's mountainous, high-elevation terrain is incorporated as a primary modality -- a rarity in related accessibility literature. These improvements are implemented within heuristic and integer-linear programming optimization models. Optimization-determined solutions were calculated within a day, and substantially outperformed the actual roads selected by Karnali's provincial government in terms of accessibility, efficiency, and political economy.
    Keywords: Transport Services,Rural Roads&Transport,Health Care Services Industry,Inequality,ICT Policy and Strategies
    Date: 2021–01–26
  20. By: Navarro, Adoracion M.
    Abstract: This study assesses the adequacy of school infrastructure in the Philippine basic education sector and conducts benchmarking against developmental targets and other countries' performance. The study shows that with respect to classrooms, there had been progress in decongesting schools, but spatial inequality in classroom-student ratio exists and must be addressed. Spatial inequality is evident given the congested classrooms in some administrative regions. Moreover, additional classrooms are needed given that school buildings in certain remote areas do not meet quality and safety standards, enrolment is increasing, and existing classrooms deteriorate due to wear and tear and calamities. With respect to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities, the gaps are huge and become more visible when benchmarked against other countries. The Philippines is lagging behind most countries in the Eastern and South-Eastern Asia region in providing WASH facilities to schools, even when compared with neighboring countries that have lower per capita income. With respect to electricity access of schools, many countries in the Eastern and South-Eastern Asia region have already achieved universal access and yet the Philippines still struggles to complete the electrification of schools. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: human capital;school infrastructure; school buildings; WASH facilities; electricity access; ICT access
    Date: 2022
  21. By: Dizon,Felipe Jr Fadullon; Wang,Zetianyu; Mulmi,Prajula
    Abstract: This paper calculates and compares the minimum cost of a recommended diet across four countries in South Asia. The analysis finds that the cost of a recommended diet is highest in the smaller countries, such as Bhutan and Nepal, but because of differences in purchasing power, more households are unable to afford the cost of a recommended diet in India. Within countries, the cost and affordability vary across urban and rural areas, subnational areas, and seasons of the year. The cost of perishable food items, such as vegetables and fruits, drives the differences across subnational areas and seasons. In a context of constrained resources, this suggests the need for strategic prioritization of investments and service improvements in transport and storage of food and, more broadly, a rethink of food policies.
    Keywords: Crops and Crop Management Systems,Nutrition,Food Security,ICT Policy and Strategies,Energy Demand,Energy and Environment,Energy and Mining
    Date: 2021–03–11
  22. By: Zhang, Shoucheng
    Abstract: It has become increasingly important to use technology in education and society in order to prepare students for the future world in which they will have to live, as it enhances education and develops digital literacy, as well as 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and information literacy that will be necessary for their success in the future. With technology being used more effectively in the education sector and in society as a whole, these skills can be imparted to learners in a more effective manner as a result of its use in the education sector. To accomplish this objective in educational institutions and society as a whole, pedagogical models can certainly be utilized, but in order to achieve this objective in a productive manner, they need to be utilized in the correct way. In addition to great leaders and entrepreneurs, the most successful educational organizations and societies share one common characteristic with the most successful educational organizations and societies. That is, they are able to exchange knowledge and wisdom within the society as well as within their faculties, students, and the external environment in which they operate. As a result of the variety of ways in which people communicate today, both individually and as a group, technology-enhanced communication in the society has never been more complex or challenging than it is today due to the types of communication technology available. Whenever it comes to using technology for knowledge dissemination in educational organizations, it is imperative that both the prerequisites as well as the consequences are taken into account when making a decision regarding the use of technology for knowledge dissemination. In recent years, it has been observed that the use of algorithms as a method of solving problems has increased due to machine learning and the development of algorithms that have been used to solve problems as a result of machine learning. The use of analytics is a prerequisite to using algorithms as a means of solving problems, because algorithms can be used as a means of solving problems, since algorithms are able to solve problems. For the purpose of solving problems in the current educational scenario around the world, a variety of algorithms, along with machine learning, are used as a method of solving problems, in addition to the development of algorithms to solve problems in the current educational scenario.
    Keywords: Technology and knowledge development in society, factors affecting knowledge sharing in education, diversity and inclusion of knowledge and technology, technology and society
    JEL: O30 O33 O35
    Date: 2022–08–15
  23. By: Arezki,Rabah; Dequiedt,Vianney; Fan,Yuting; Rossotto,Carlo Maria
    Abstract: The paper investigates the pace of technology adoption in telecom technology post liberalization and its effect on stock returns using a new global panel data set. The results are twofold. First, the evidence points to the complementarity between telecom liberalization and regulatory independence in driving a sustained pace of technology adoption. Second, the results show a positive and economically significant effect of telecom adoption on stock returns, pointing to significant spillovers of telecom to the rest of the economy.
    Keywords: Telecommunications Infrastructure,Health Care Services Industry,Information Technology,Energy Demand,Energy and Mining,Energy and Environment
    Date: 2021–03–02
  24. By: Anderson,Stephen J.; Mckenzie,David J.
    Abstract: Why do more small firms in developing countries not use the market for professional business services like accounting, marketing, and human resource specialists? Two key reasons may be that firms lack information about the availability of these services, and that they struggle to distinguish the quality of good versus bad providers. A brand recognition exercise finds that most small firms are unaware of most providers in this market, and a survey of service providers reveals that they largely rely on word-of-mouth and informal reputation mechanisms for acquiring customers. This study set up a business services marketplace that contains information about the different providers present in the market and used mystery shopper visits to develop a quality ratings system. A randomized experiment with more than 1,000 firms provided access to this marketplace to the treatment group and randomized whether firms received just information or also quality ratings. The provision of quality ratings information shifts small firms’ preferences over which provider they would like to use, increasing the average quality rating of their preferred providers by 0.2 to 0.4 ratings points out of 5. However, neither the provision of information nor these quality ratings had any significant impact on the likelihood that small firms go on to hire a business service provider over the subsequent six months. The results suggest that alleviating information frictions alone is insufficient to increase usage of professional business services.
    Keywords: Information Technology,International Trade and Trade Rules,Public Sector Management and Reform,Food&Beverage Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Construction Industry,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,General Manufacturing
    Date: 2021–04–06
  25. By: Adriano, Lourdes S.; Adriano, Karlo Fermin S.
    Abstract: The Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) was passed and implemented a quarter of a century ago. AFMA comprised a suite of policy, institutional, and investment measures that envisaged the transformation of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, from a resource-based to a technology-based industry. One aspect of the modernization process that the AFMA is aiming at and which is the focus of this study is the development of agro-based value chains that move up the value-added ladder ascendancy. This is done by examining AFMA and the agri-food value chain development and ascendancy in the value-added ladder from the lens of the agri-food systems approach and theory of change. In addition to this, value chain case studies of selected agricultural commodities were conducted. Unfortunately, the impact of AFMA on the modernization of the agri-food value chain systems more than twenty years after its enactment is mute. There are several factors why AFMA’s role to the ascendancy in the value-added ladder of the agri-food is limited: its narrow view of value-added ladder ascendancy, its focus was mainly on just one segment of agro-based value chains, its rice self-sufficiency position impeded the growth of other agro-based value chains, and its beneficiaries were mainly for small-scale farmers and fisherfolk. There are five worthwhile areas of AFMA intervention that need expanding for enhanced value-added ladder ascendancy. These are the market-determined credit facilities and the food safety and quality standards. The first expands the credit outreach to the often-disadvantaged rural producers while serving as a vehicle or catalyst for strengthening the links between primary agriculture production, and the backward and forward links to the final consumer markets. The second deals with developing competitive agri-based commodities and products that are consumer safe and are of an internationally acceptable quality which can facilitate the modernization of traditional retail markets. The third is the promotion of clustering of small farmers into formal groups which can facilitate the efficient coordination, transfer, and adoption of government interventions or programs. The fourth is the inclusion of ICT market-related advancements given the new normal. Finally, the fifth entails the transition of AFMA from a supply- or commodity-driven approach to the adoption of a holistic food system framework. Finally, there is equally a need for policy measures that go beyond the present AFMA jurisdiction. Germane reforms are on the: Comprehensive Agrarian Reform and the need to phase it out and ensure a freer land market, more novel public-private partnerships that bring in the largely numerous micro and small and medium enterprises that dominate the midstream and downstream segments of the value chains, the need to overhaul the DA’s “banner programs” away from rice to diversified farming systems and value chains, and the need to move DA’s budget away from the provision of private goods to public goods. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: agri-food value chains;AFMA;upsteam and downstream segments;food systems;theory of change;forward and backward linkages
    Date: 2022
  26. By: Cirera,Xavier; Comin,Diego Adolfo; Vargas Da Cruz,Marcio Jose; Lee,Kyungmin
    Abstract: This study collects data on the sophistication of technologies used at the business function level for a representative sample of firms in Vietnam, Senegal, and the Brazilian state of Ceara. The analysis finds a large variance in technology sophistication across the business functions of a firm. The within-firm variance in technology sophistication is greater than the variance in sophistication across firms, which in turn is greater than the variance in sophistication across regions or countries. The paper documents a stable cross-firm relationship between technology at the business function and firm levels, which it calls the technology curve. Significant heterogeneity is uncovered in the slopes of the technology curves across business functions, a finding that is consistent with non-homotheticities in firm-level technology aggregators. Firm productivity is positively associated with the within-firm variance and the average level of technology sophistication. Development accounting exercises show that cross-firm variation in technology accounts for one-third of cross-firm differences in productivity and one-fifth of the agricultural versus non-agricultural gap in cross-country differences in firm productivity.
    Keywords: Food Security,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,General Manufacturing,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Food&Beverage Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Construction Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Information Technology,Health Service Management and Delivery,Health Care Services Industry,Transport Services
    Date: 2020–11–16
  27. By: Corral Rodas,Paul Andres; Kastelic,Kristen Himelein; Mcgee,Kevin Robert; Molina,Isabel
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the performance of different small area estimation methods using model and design-based simulation experiments. Design-based simulation experiments are carried out using the Mexican Intra Censal survey as a census of roughly 3.9 million households from which 500 samples are drawn using a two-stage selection procedure similar to that of Living Standards Measurement Study surveys. Several unit-level methods are considered as well as a method that combines unit and area level information, which has been proposed as an alternative when the available census data is outdated. The findings show the importance of selecting a proper model and data transformation so that the model assumptions hold. A proper data transformation can lead to a considerable improvement in mean squared errors. The results from design-based validation show that all small area estimation methods represent an improvement, in terms of mean squared errors, over direct estimates. However, methods that model unit level welfare using only area level information suffer from considerable bias. Because the magnitude and direction of the bias are unknown ex ante, methods that rely only on aggregated covariates should be used with caution, but they may be an alternative to traditional area level models when these are not applicable.
    Keywords: Inequality,Employment and Unemployment,Democratic Government,De Facto Governments,Public Sector Administrative&Civil Service Reform,Public Sector Administrative and CivilService Reform,Economics and Finance of Public Institution Development,State Owned Enterprise Reform,Labor&Employment Law,Information Technology
    Date: 2021–04–12
  28. By: Francis,David C.; Karalashvili,Nona; Maemir,Hibret Belete; Rodriguez Meza,Jorge Luis
    Abstract: Total factor productivity is a key element of economic growth and an important performance metric for policy makers. This note describes the methodology for measuring firm-level total factor productivity using the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys cross-country data. It also presents some estimates recovered from the production function. Two versions of the production function are estimated: one Cobb-Douglas, the other a more flexible translog specification. Both estimations are at the two-digit industry level pooling all the Enterprise Surveys data across economies. Evidence is found against using a Cobb-Douglas specification, which is more parsimonious, and in favor of using the flexible translog specification. The resulting firm-level estimates are all published in the Enterprise Surveys database with a unique firm identifier to link to the rest of the Enterprise Surveys data; because the estimates are reliant on new data, they are updated periodically as new Enterprise Surveys data become available. The results show that: (i) median firms operate close to constant returns to scale; (ii) gross-output and value-added production functions provide similar ranking of sectors in terms of output elasticities, capital intensity, and returns to scale; (iii) there is large, firm-level heterogeneity in output elasticities; and (iv) gross-output-based total factor productivity measures are less dispersed than the value-added ones.
    Keywords: Common Carriers Industry,Food&Beverage Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Construction Industry,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,General Manufacturing,Employment and Unemployment,Information Technology,Transport Services
    Date: 2020–12–08
  29. By: Naeher,Dominik; Schundeln,Matthias
    Abstract: Low levels of investment into modern technologies, and limited use of measures that have low monetary cost but the potential for high yields, are often regarded as obstacles to further agricultural development. This paper investigates farmers’ demand for one such measure, namely agricultural advisory services. These have modest (most frequently zero) monetary user cost but, according to some recent research, have the potential to result in large increases of yields. Yet, demand for these extension services is often low. This study proposes that costly attention may be part of the explanation for this. In the model, advisory services are available free of charge, but positive effects on production are only realized if farmers devote attention to listening to and implementing the provided advice. Modeling farmers as rational decision makers facing scarce attention, the study identifies the circumstances under which farmers may optimally abstain from demanding advisory services. The model complements the insights of other theories commonly used to explain suboptimal farm decisions and outcomes, and generates testable predictions, which are consistent with empirical evidence based on a large farm-level panel dataset from Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Food Security,Agricultural Extension,Crops and Crop Management Systems,Climate Change and Agriculture,Inequality,Information Technology,Livestock and Animal Husbandry
    Date: 2021–02–02

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.