nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒04‒03
seven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Information technology, inequality and adult literacy in developing countries By Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
  2. Leveraging automation and digitalization for precision agriculture: Evidence from the case studies By Ceccarelli, Tomaso; Chauhan, Aneesh; Rambaldi, Giacomo; Kumar, Inder; Cappello, Christina; Janssen, Sander; McCampbell, Mariette
  3. From Imports To Exports – An Achievement Of Mobile Phone Industry By Uzma Zia
  4. Foreign Affiliates versus Domestic Firms in the Information and Communication Services Sector in Central and Eastern Europe By Svilena Mihaylova
  5. Retombées du très haut débit sur les entreprises: Quels effets sur les performances des entreprises en France ? By Florian LEON; Laurent BERGE; Chloé DUVIVIER
  6. Wages and the Role of Intangibles in Finance By Adnan Velic
  7. The role of banks' technology adoption in credit markets during the pandemic By Nicola Branzoli; Edoardo Rainone; Ilaria Supino

  1. By: Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
    Abstract: The study assesses linkages between information technology, inequality and adult literacy in 57 developing countries for the period 2012-2016. Income inequality is measured with the Gini coefficient while six dynamics of information technology are taken on board, namely: use of virtual social network, internet access in schools, internet penetration, mobile phone penetration, fixed broadband subscription and number of personal computer users. The findings show that only internet access in schools unconditionally promote adult literacy. The corresponding inequality threshold that should not be exceeded in order for internet access in schools to continue promoting adult literacy is 0.739 of the Gini coefficient. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: information technology, inequality; adult literacy
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Ceccarelli, Tomaso; Chauhan, Aneesh; Rambaldi, Giacomo; Kumar, Inder; Cappello, Christina; Janssen, Sander; McCampbell, Mariette
    Abstract: Digital and automation solutions for precision agriculture can improve efficiency, productivity, product quality and sustainability. Nevertheless, barriers to adoption of such solutions – including their cost, lack of knowledge and skills, and the absence of an enabling environment and infrastructure – can prevent producers from realizing these benefits. Building on findings from 22 case studies worldwide, this study finds that national data policies and infrastructure are key enablers of adoption, as is investment in connectivity (e.g. internet) and electricity in rural areas. Further research and information on the economic, environmental and social impacts of the solutions are also needed to provide evidence on their benefits. So too is investment in human capacity development, particularly digital literacy. To ensure an inclusive process, solutions must be adapted across agricultural production systems, regions and farm types. Partnerships and networks for exchanging information and promoting collaboration will key. Finally, awareness raising and communication are important since consumers can be skeptical about food being produced by new technologies. In summary, by focusing on a variety of solutions, this study provides a landscape analysis of digital and automation solutions and offers guidance to accelerate adoption for more inclusive, sustainable and resilient agrifood systems. This study was developed as a background document for the FAO report "The State of Food and Agriculture 2022 – Leveraging automation in agriculture for transforming agrifood systems" (
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2022–11–15
  3. By: Uzma Zia (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics)
    Abstract: Pakistan has performed in local hand set manufacturing and has gradually become exporter of mobile phones. Being a new product for exports, no specific export targets were set before but the “domestic increase in production of handsets” and “initiating export successfully” is encouraging. The local mobile phone manufacturing industry is expected to promote Pakistan’s in-house handset manufacturing, exports, the digital economy through providing mobile services particularly in the form of mobile broadband and hence; enhancing digital connectivity, ecosystem & innovation.
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Svilena Mihaylova (University of Economics Ð Varna)
    Abstract: Given the important role of foreign direct investment in Central and Eastern Europe, the paper explores the performance of foreign affiliates versus domestic firms in the information and communication services sector in eleven countries in the region. Based on Eurostat data for the period 2010-2020, the paper conducts descriptive and comparative analysis of foreign-owned and domestic firms in terms of size, productivity and profitability, as well as their dynamics over time. The results reveal that, on average, foreign-owned firms in the sector tend to be bigger and perform better than their local counterparts, but in the same time there are significant variations across countries.
    Keywords: Firm performance; Foreign direct investment; Multinational enterprises
    JEL: L25 F21 F23
    Date: 2023–03
  5. By: Florian LEON; Laurent BERGE; Chloé DUVIVIER
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of accessing ultra fast broadband (UFB) on firm performance. To address endogeneity issues, we focus on a French policy deploying UFB in areas for which the private sector (telecommunication companies) expressed no interest in deploying the technology. Given the top down nature of the policy and the important uncertainties regarding the delays of the deployment, we argue that the timing of access to UFB for the companies is plausibly exogenous. The areas affected by this policy represent about 30, 000 cities and 43% of the French population. Thanks to granular firm-level data and precise information on internet access, we leverage the timing of access to draw causal estimates from a staggered difference in difference design at the city level. We show that UFB access increases value added of the firms in our sample right from the year of access and this positive effect grows over time. This increase in value added comes from companies existing before the arrival of the UFB and not from companies arriving after (i.e. not from ex post inward mobility) nor from exists of low productivity firms. Regarding employment, we evidence an increase in employment but only after 4 years. We find no effect of UFB on labour productivity.
    Keywords: Ultra fast broadband, firm performance, difference-in-difference, policy evaluation.
    JEL: D22 D24 O14 R11
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Adnan Velic (Technological University Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of intangible and ICT capital in the growth of relative finance wages. Within a multi-level nested production framework, we find that the degree and effects of complementarity between skilled labor and different categories of capital are much more pronounced in finance than in the rest of the market economy. The stronger positive effects of such complementarity on finance skill premia are further reinforced by relatively stronger technical change in the sector. Controlling for various factors, subsequent reduced-form analysis also indicates that rising intangible or ICT capital in finance relative to that in non-finance increases corresponding relative aggregate and skilled finance wages through complementarity and volume effects. This implies that skill composition matters for relative finance wage growth. While skilled labor, compared to unskilled labor, predominantly drives finance wages, we also find that the finance sector contributes to income inequality by disproportionately affecting the market economy skill premium. Despite accounting for under a tenth of overall economic activity, finance offsets up to almost a third of declines in skilled-unskilled wage disparities nationally. Intensified intangible capital growth in the industry stands to exacerbate this trend. Finally, our study suggests that financial deregulation, globalization, banking competition, and domestic credit expansion positively affect finance relative to non-finance wages, while relative skilled labor supply increases and labor market rigidity impart negative effects. We obtain strong evidence that stricter labor market protection dampens the impact of banking competition.
    Keywords: skill premium, inequality, intangiblecapital, finance, factor-substitutionelasticities, factor-biasedproductivitygrowth, factor-income shares, multi-level nesting
    JEL: G2 J2 J3 O3 O4
    Date: 2023–03
  7. By: Nicola Branzoli (Bank of Italy); Edoardo Rainone (Bank of Italy); Ilaria Supino (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Policy evaluation based on the estimation of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models with aggregate macroeconomic time series rests on the assumption that a representative agent can be identified, whose behavioural parameters are independent of the policy rules. Building on earlier work by Geweke, the main goal of this paper is to show that the representative agent is in general not structural, in the sense that its estimated behavioural parameters are not policyindependent. The paper identifies two different sources of nonstructurality. The latter is shown to be a fairly general feature of optimizing representative agent rational expectations models estimated on macroeconomic data.
    Keywords: bank credit, information technology, firms, COVID-19 pandemic
    JEL: G21 G22 G23 G24
    Date: 2023–03

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