nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒03‒13
eight papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Inter-industry and Intra-industry Switching as Sources of Productivity Growth: Structural Change of Finland’s ICT Industries By Kuosmanen, Natalia; Kuosmanen, Timo
  2. High-speed broadband, school closures and educational achievements By Boeri, Filippo
  3. The stereotype that girls lack talent: A worldwide investigation By Clotilde Napp; Thomas Breda
  4. The Promise and Limitations of Information Technology for Tax Mobilisation By Scarpini, Celeste; Okunogbe, Oyebola; Santoro, Fabrizio
  5. Digital inclusion in Caribbean digital transformation frameworks and initiatives: a review By Alexander, Dale; Døhl Diouf, Lika; Prescod, Kwesi
  6. Technological chance and growth regimes: Assessing the case for universal basic income in an era declining labour shares By Chrisp, Joe; Garcia-Lazaro, Aida; Pearce, Nick
  7. Global value chain dependencies under the magnifying glass By Cyrille Schwellnus; Antton Haramboure; Lea Samek; Ricardo Chiapin Pechansky; Charles Cadestin
  8. The impact of cell phone towers on residential property prices: evidence from Poland By Bartomiej Marona; Micha Guszak; Radoslaw Gaca; Jan Konowalczuk

  1. By: Kuosmanen, Natalia; Kuosmanen, Timo
    Abstract: Abstract Structural change is an important driver of productivity growth at the aggregate level. While previous productivity decompositions account for the contributions of market entry and exit, they overlook continuing firms that switch from one industry to another. We develop an improved productivity decomposition that accounts for both intra-industry and inter-industry switching, is applicable to both static and inter-temporal settings, and ensures consistent aggregation of firm level productivity to the industry level. The proposed decomposition is applied to Finland’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry in the first two decades of the 21st century. This industry experienced major structural changes due to the rapid downfall of Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer at the beginning of our study period. Our results reveal that the sharp decline of labor productivity was associated with the structural changes, whereas the surviving firms that continued in the same industry managed to improve their productivity. Our results indicate that industry switching can dampen or enhance the productivity impacts of structural change, especially during the times of crisis and recession.
    Keywords: Entry and exit, Labor productivity, Product switching, Reallocation of resources
    JEL: D24 L16 O47
    Date: 2023–02–27
  2. By: Boeri, Filippo
    Abstract: In this study, I shed new light on the short-run effects of access to high-speed internet on educational disparities, before and after the pandemic shock. By following 3 million students belonging to 6 different cohorts over the period 2012-2022, I estimate the effect of the broadband infrastructure on student performance. While most previous contributions use discontinuous jumps in the available broadband connection speed across space at a given moment in time, this study exploits the actual roll-out of an infrastructural policy associated with an increase in 30 Mbit/s household broadband coverage from 40% to 80% over a 5-year period. The estimation strategy relies on a unique dataset, combining panel data on student performance with a rich set of school- and student-level information and broadband data measured at a very fine spatial scale. Results show an average null effect of high-speed broadband on 8th grade student performance in both numeracy and maths. However, this results masks substantial heterogeneity: lower performers in grade 5 and students with better backgrounds gain from internet speed, whereas the opposite is true for other students. Interestingly, the stronger effect on low-performers tends to disappear during the lockdown, suggesting a negligible mitigating role for high-speed internet during the period of school closure. On the other hand, the broadband infrastructure might have further amplified the gap between students with different socioeconomic background.
    Keywords: ICT; education; economics; internet; broadband; Italy
    JEL: I20 H54 D83
    Date: 2023–02–01
  3. By: Clotilde Napp (Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Thomas Breda (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Recent research has shown that there exist gender stereotypes that portray men as more brilliant or inherently talented than women. We provide a large-scale multinational investigation of these stereotypes and their relationship with other gender gaps. Using a survey question asked to more than 500, 000 students in 72 countries, we build a measure of the stereotypes associating talent with men and show that they are present in almost all studied countries. These stereotypes are stronger among high-achieving students and in more developed or more gender-egalitarian countries. Similar patterns are observed for gender gaps in competitiveness, self-confidence, and willingness to work in an ICT (Information and Communication Technology)–related occupation. Statistical analysis suggests that these three latter gender gaps could be related to stereotypes associating talent with men. We conclude that these stereotypes should be more systematically considered as a possible explanation for the glass ceiling.
    Date: 2022–03–09
  4. By: Scarpini, Celeste; Okunogbe, Oyebola; Santoro, Fabrizio
    Abstract: As digital technologies continue gaining momentum in Africa and lower-income countries, more and more tax authorities are adopting them to improve their core functions and collect revenue more efficiently. This paper reviews recent literature on using technology for tax administration. Technology has the potential to improve tax collection in three areas: identifying the tax base, monitoring compliance, and facilitating compliance. But even the most user-friendly technology will hardly function without basic infrastructure and a stable internet connection. The potential benefits of new technology are further hampered by resistance from taxpayers and collectors, an unsupportive regulatory environment and lack of strategy for adoption by institutions. We close by proposing reforms to ensure investments in new technology improve efficiency and revenue collection. This is a summary of Working Paper 135 by Oyebola Okunogbe and Fabrizio Santoro.
    Keywords: Technology,
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Alexander, Dale; Døhl Diouf, Lika; Prescod, Kwesi
    Abstract: This study evaluates the extent to which digital inclusion is considered in Caribbean digital transformation frameworks. Digital inclusion considers the ways in which digital divides are created as the digital transformation of society progresses, and how societal inequalities affect and are affected by digital technologies. As such, digital inclusion is a lens through which the effects of the digital transformation can be assessed. The study assesses the digital transformation policies of 11 countries and territories of the Caribbean and complements this analysis with qualitative data gathered through surveys and interviews from ICT focal points and policymakers in the region.
    Date: 2023–01–10
  6. By: Chrisp, Joe; Garcia-Lazaro, Aida; Pearce, Nick
    Abstract: [Synopsis and motivation] In recent decades, most OECD countries have seen a significant decline in the labour share, as well as an increase in inequality. The decline in the labour share and the rise in inequality poses several problems for such countries, whether related to distributive justice, economic and social outcomes, such as deficient aggregate income and demand, or democratic politics. In this report, we focus on the role of technological change as a central driver of the decline in the labour share and explore its contingency: both across contexts and across definitions/operationalisations of technology. With respect to the latter, we distinguish between perspectives that place physical capital and investment in automation and ICT at the centre of technological change on the one hand, and the growth of the knowledge economy and intangible capital on the other. Meanwhile, following work by Baccaro and Pontusson (2016), and more recently Hassel and Palier (2021), we utilise the concept of 'growth regimes' to analyse how the effects of technology are mediated and moderated by national political-economic institutions. This approach allows us to test more nuanced arguments about the role of technological change in the decline in the labour share and to discuss the likely effects, and political feasibility, of policy solutions such as universal basic income (UBI) that are often advanced as an answer to increased automation and lower returns to labour. The following issues provide the basis for our research questions: 1. To what extent is technological change responsible for the decline in the labour share? 2. What is the role of growth regimes in moderating the effect of technology on the labour share? 3. Are results consistent across different conceptions and definitions of technological change? 4. What policy solutions are available to tackle these trends and issues? 5. Does technological change strengthen the case for and the feasibility of a universal basic income? This work builds on previous policy briefs and reports by the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) on UBI and technological change, namely the September 2019 report by Dr Luke Martinelli entitled 'Basic income, automation and labour market change' (Martinelli, 2019a). That report summarised the evidence regarding the effects of technology on labour markets and the case for UBI in such a light. Empirical analysis, however, focused on political economy questions concerning the political constituency for a UBI and policy trade-offs in design across EU countries using microsimulation analysis. Here, our empirical strategy is instead focused on questions about the effect of technology on the labour share, enabling us to re-pose the question of how a UBI could serve as a tool for combating growing inequality, income and demand deficiency, and labour market dysfunction in global economies. Future empirical research at the IPR will focus more comprehensively on the fifth and final research question above, namely estimating the macroeconomic effects of a UBI, including one funded using sovereign money. Next, we introduce three central ideas in the report - the decline in the labour share, technological change and growth regimes - before briefly outlining the consequences for policy debates.
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Cyrille Schwellnus; Antton Haramboure; Lea Samek; Ricardo Chiapin Pechansky; Charles Cadestin
    Abstract: Policy makers are increasingly grappling with the stability implications of global value chains (GVCs), as widespread supply shortages following the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian Federation’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine have disrupted the economic recovery and contributed to high inflation. This paper provides a tool to assess vulnerabilities in GVCs by drawing a detailed map of dependencies based on new indicators constructed from the OECD Inter-Country Input-Output tables. The key findings are as follows. First, GVC dependencies increase with both the size of foreign exposures and the length of foreign value chains. Second, in some industries, such as the automotive and ICT industries, vulnerabilities from high GVC dependence are amplified by high geographic concentration of suppliers or buyers. Third, the People’s Republic of China is the most critical choke point in GVCs across a broad range of industries, both as a dominant supplier and as a dominant buyer.
    Keywords: global value chains, international trade, resilience
    JEL: F14 F68 L52
    Date: 2023–03–01
  8. By: Bartomiej Marona; Micha Guszak; Radoslaw Gaca; Jan Konowalczuk
    Abstract: The externalities generated by cell phone towers have been discussed in the economic literature since 1990s. Recent development of new generation of wireless infrastructure has drawn public attention to the problem, and risen both health and socio-economic concerns. The main goal of the paper is to investigate the impact of cell phone towers on residential property prices in Poland, where problem has not been explored to date. The research was divided on two phases. In the first part we conduct a systematic literature review. As a result of the literature analysis, a total of 11 studies were identified: 4 from the United States, 3 from New Zealand, 2 from Germany and one from Australia and Switzerland. The identification of such a relatively small number of scientific research carried out only in a few countries of the world indicates that the discussed issues are not well not recognized and requires further in-depth research. In the second stage we investigate the impact on cell phone towers in Warsaw (Poland) using spatial hedonic price models. We did not find a statistically and economically significant effect of the proximity of cell phone towers on house prices. The research results contribute to the ongoing debate about the potential negative effects of wireless communication infrastructure on house prices, and have significant policy implications.
    Keywords: cell phone towers; Poland; Prices; Residential Property
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2022–01–01

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