nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒04‒17
seven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Killer Acquisitions: Evidence from EC Merger Cases in Digital Industries By Ivaldi, Marc; Petit, Nicolas; Unekbas, Selçukhan
  2. Information Technology, Firm Size, and Industrial Concentration By Erik Brynjolfsson; Wang Jin; Xiupeng Wang
  3. Mobile Internet and the Rise of Political Tribalism in Europe By Marco Manacorda; Guido Tabellini; Andrea Tesei
  4. Does ICT access and usage reduce growth inefficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa? By Désiré Avom; Gilles Dufrénot; Sylvie Eyeffa
  5. The Characteristics and Geographic Distribution of Robot Hubs in U.S. Manufacturing Establishments By Erik Brynjolfsson; Cathy Buffington; Nathan Goldschlag; J. Frank Li; Javier Miranda; Robert Seamans
  6. Analysis on the Determinants of Labor Share and Its Policy Implications By Baek, Yaein; Han, Minsoo; Kim, Wongi; Kim, Hyunsuk
  7. Analysis of Future International Trade and Logistics in Africa: Considering Major Risks and Opportunities in the Post COVID-19 World By Fukushima, Hiroyuki; Abe, Masahiro; Shibasaki, Ryuichi; Alves, Lucas; Takada, Yuki; Onodera, Hitoshi; Furuichi, Masahiko

  1. By: Ivaldi, Marc; Petit, Nicolas; Unekbas, Selçukhan
    Abstract: Do established firms buy new businesses to take out future competition? Recent works in economics literature use “killer acquisitions” as a graphic concept to describe these transactions. How concerned should competition policy be? The answer to this question hinges on how much the “theory” of killer acquisitions explains. To gain insights on this, the paper studies a sample of past cases composed of all merger transactions reviewed by the European Commission (“EC”) in ICT industries. In line with the predictions of the theory, some of these cases might constitute “killer acquisitions”. Hence, the paper asks: did they lead to a reduction of competition? By focusing on perceptions of the competitors of the acquired entity as reported in financial disclosures, the paper shows that one could not observe a disappearance of the target’s products, a weakening of competing firms, and/or a post-merger lowering or absence of entry and innovation. In other words, the paper finds no factual evidence supporting the killer acquisition theory. Whilst based on small number of observations, the paper’s findings are strong. Indeed the paper’s methodology overcomes the inherent problem of lack of observing the post-merger activities of the target, and addresses the inference problem that stems from the fact that even if the target’s products are discontinued in the buyer’s firm, it is non sequitur to infer from this a post-merger weakening of competition.
    Keywords: Killer Acquisition; Dynamic Competition; Mergers and Acquisitions; Innovation
    JEL: G34 L41 L86 O31
    Date: 2023–03
  2. By: Erik Brynjolfsson; Wang Jin; Xiupeng Wang
    Abstract: Information flows, and thus information technology (IT) are central to the structure of firms and markets. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we provide firm-level evidence that increases in IT intensity are associated with increases in firm size and concentration in both employment and sales. Results from instrumental variables and long-difference models suggest that the effect is likely causal. The effect of IT on size is more pronounced for sales than employment, which leads to a decline in the labor share, consistent with the “scale without mass” theory of digitization. Furthermore, we find that IT provides greater benefits to larger firms by increasing their capability to replicate their operations across establishments, markets, and industries. Our findings provide empirical evidence suggesting that the substantial rise in IT investment is one of the main driving forces for the increase in firm size, decline of labor share, the growth of superstar firms, and increased market concentration in recent years.
    JEL: L10 O3 O30
    Date: 2023–03
  3. By: Marco Manacorda (School of Economics and Finance, Queen Mary University of London); Guido Tabellini (Department of Economics and IGIER, Bocconi University;); Andrea Tesei (School of Economics and Finance, Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: 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, primarilyin 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.ity.
    Keywords: Populism, Communitarianism, Europe, mobile Internet.
    JEL: D72 D91 L86
    Date: 2022–08–04
  4. By: Désiré Avom (Université de Yaoundé II); Gilles Dufrénot (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique); Sylvie Eyeffa (Université de Yaoundé II)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether or not the access to and use of ICT can help African countries reduce their growth inefficiencies. Inefficiency is measured, on the one hand, by the gap between a country's growth rate and its own frontier, and on the other hand by the relative position of each country compared to the best achievers. We find that if countries were doing a better job of controlling corruption and improving citizen participation in politics, they would achieve higher growth efficiency performance by using ICT. When countries are compared with each other, considering the growth "frontier" as countries in the sample, then growth differentials are explained primarily by non-ICT factors of growth (human capital, schooling rates, capital growth rates, etc.). The role of ICT factors is secondary. But they contribute to growth to a greater extent for the best achievers (compared to the lowest and middle achievers) because they are better endowed with ICT factors than the others.
    Keywords: ICT, African countries, growth inefficiency, frontier, quantiles
    Date: 2023–03–01
  5. By: Erik Brynjolfsson; Cathy Buffington; Nathan Goldschlag; J. Frank Li; Javier Miranda; Robert Seamans
    Abstract: We use data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures to study the characteristics and geography of investments in robots across U.S. manufacturing establishments. We find that robotics adoption and robot intensity (the number of robots per employee) is much more strongly related to establishment size than age. We find that establishments that report having robotics have higher capital expenditures, including higher information technology (IT) capital expenditures. Also, establishments are more likely to have robotics if other establishments in the same Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) and industry also report having robotics. The distribution of robots is highly skewed across establishments’ locations. Some locations, which we call Robot Hubs, have far more robots than one would expect even after accounting for industry and manufacturing employment. We characterize these Robot Hubs along several industry, demographic, and institutional dimensions. The presence of robot integrators and higher levels of union membership are positively correlated with being a Robot Hub.
    JEL: L64 O34 O36 O4
    Date: 2023–03
  6. By: Baek, Yaein (KOREA INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC POLICY (KIEP)); Han, Minsoo (Department of International Trade, Inha University); Kim, Wongi (Department of Economics, Sungshin Women’s University); Kim, Hyunsuk (Int’l Macroeconomics Team, Int’l Macroeconomics & Finance Dept)
    Abstract: There has been a significant decline in the global labor share, leading to numerous studies about the cause of this drop. The labor share is used as one of the main indicators of inequality because a decrease in the labor share can lead to aggravation of income inequality. This is because low-skilled workers can be greatly affected by such a decline in the labor share and the main source of in-come for the low-income class, including the self-employed, is labor income. Among various indicators of inequality, this study analyzes the determinants of the change in labor share. Technological changes such as adoption of robots, advancements in information and communications technology (ICT) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are expected to change the labor market. Hence, this study analyzes the impact of technological changes on labor share and suggests policy responses.(the rest omitted)
    Keywords: Labor Share; Skill-biased Technological Change; Robots; Income Inequality
    Date: 2023–02–01
  7. By: Fukushima, Hiroyuki; Abe, Masahiro; Shibasaki, Ryuichi; Alves, Lucas; Takada, Yuki; Onodera, Hitoshi; Furuichi, Masahiko
    Abstract: Africa, which is expected to develop rapidly as a sizeable world market, is attracting attention as an attractive investment destination in various fields such as infrastructure, agriculture, energy, ICT, and finance. In particular, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to stimulate African intra-region/international trade and further economic growth. On the other hand, there is concern that COVID-19 will impede the growth of African economies: real GDP growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was -2.4% in 2020, and even after 2021, it has been pointed out that the African economy may lag behind the rest of the world. Thus, it is important to comprehensively consider risks such as COVID-19 after 2020 and other opportunities such as AfCFTA and to eliminate bottlenecks in logistics infrastructure that could become obstacles to economic growth in Africa. With the aim of clarifying the future vision of the international trade in Africa, this study developed multiple future scenarios considering risks and opportunities in Africa after the expansion of COVID-19 infection and uses the GTAP-RD (Recursive Dynamic) model and the GLINS (Global intermodal Logistics Network Simulation) model. The analysis using the GTAP-RD model revealed the transition of Africa's international trade for each future scenario and revealed that the most desirable society in the world as a whole will improve Africa's trade balance the most. The GLINS model analysis showed the regional spread of logistics infrastructure development effects, indicating that the spread of logistics infrastructure development will accelerate the spread of effects throughout Africa. Finally, we estimated Africa's future exports and imports using the GTAP-RD model again, using the logistics cost reduction rate from the GLINS model as the "ams" variable in the GTAP-RD model and found that it would increase intra-African trade and also increase exports to the rest of the region.
    Keywords: International Relations/Trade, International Relations/Trade
    Date: 2022

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