nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒06‒19
five papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. The characteristics and geographic distribution of robot hubs in U.S. manufacturing establishments By Brynjolfsson, Erik; Buffington, Catherine; Goldschlag, Nathan; Li, J. Frank; Miranda, Javier; Seamans, Robert
  2. Role of ICT Dissemination and Digital Finance in Poverty Eradication and Income Inequality Reduction: A Sub-national Level Study from India By Simontinti Das; Amrita Chatterjee
  3. Trade Balances and International Competitiveness in Cyber-physical, Digital Task-intensive, ICT Capital-intensive and Traditional Industries By Alexandra Bykova; Roman Stöllinger
  4. Sanctions and services trade: the neglected dimension By Anirudh Shingal
  5. Africa's emergent tech sector: It's characteristics impact on development and labour markets By Lay, Jann; Tafese, Tevin

  1. By: Brynjolfsson, Erik; Buffington, Catherine; Goldschlag, Nathan; Li, J. Frank; Miranda, Javier; Seamans, Robert
    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.
    Keywords: labor, manufacturing, robot, technology adoption
    JEL: L64 O34 O36 O4
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Simontinti Das (Assistant Professor, Jadavpur University, Kolkata); Amrita Chatterjee ((Corresponding author), Assistant Professor, Madras School of Economics, Chennai, India)
    Abstract: Information and Communication technology (ICT) can boost economic growth and at the same time can create digital divide. The present paper explores both direct impact of ICT dissemination and its indirect impact through the channel of digital finance on poverty eradication and income inequality reduction at the sub-national level in India, considering rural-urban bifurcation. States are classified according to the incidence of poverty and income inequality. Ordered probit estimation confirms that the spread of ICT dissemination directly reduces the persistence of poverty in both urban and rural areas. Moreover, the application of ICT innovation in the financial sector or digital finance also has a positive impact on poverty eradication. However, in case of inequality removal, ICT innovation has no direct impact, though financial inclusion reduces inequality in both rural and urban areas. Interestingly, ICT diffusion in the banking sector dampens the positive role of financial inclusion on urban inequality reduction, whereas it has no impact on rural inequality. An important policy prescription should be strengthening ICT infrastructure along with a wider and uniform spread of digital finance among rural as well as urban populations so that more people can take advantage of ICT diffusion.
    Keywords: ICT innovation, Digital Finance, Poverty incidence, Income inequality, Rural-urban disparity
    JEL: O33 G2 I32 O18 R12
  3. By: Alexandra Bykova (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Roman Stöllinger (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: In this report, we analyse the international competitiveness of the EU in four industry groups over the period 1995-2018. The groups are delineated by specific factor intensities, where these intensities are assessed from digital tasks performed by labour services and ICT capital stocks. The EU’s positions relating to trade balances, revealed comparative advantages and unit value ratios are assessed relative to its main competitors, such as the US, China, Japan and South Korea. The trade specialisation patterns confirm EU advantages in traditional industries, which still represent the largest part of global trade, and in the group of digital task-intensive industries. In the cyber-physical group of industries, which are characterised by both high digital task and ICT capital intensities, the EU records a trade deficit, although this has been receding in recent years. Competitiveness indicators depict heterogeneity among EU countries. The loss of international competitiveness for some technology front-runners is a worrying sign. On the positive side, however, a reduction in trade deficits or an improvement in product quality and market shares is evident for certain EU countries, especially in the Central European region.
    Keywords: international competitiveness, EU, EU-CEE, trade balances, revealed comparative advantages, unit value ratios, digital tasks, ICT capital, digitalisation
    JEL: F14 L11 L60 O33
    Date: 2023–05
  4. By: Anirudh Shingal
    Abstract: Existing literature focuses on the effect of sanctions on merchandise trade and investment, neglecting the services trade dimension. We contribute by using the recent Global Sanctions Database (Felbermayr et al. 2020a, b) to examine the impact of sanctions on bilateral services trade in a structural gravity framework. Our results reveal considerable heterogeneity in sanctions-impact across sectors and depending upon sanctions-type. Trade sanctions are found to reduce sender-target services trade while military, financial and travel sanctions are found to enhance it. This positive effect contrasts with the largely insignificant effect of non-trade sanctions on merchandise trade in the literature and is driven by insurance, financial, ICT, business and maintenance and repair services. Our findings allude to the use of specific services to counter adverse effects of sanctions imposition or for sanctions-busting, suggesting a review of the instrument’s design, coverage and implementation to meet intended objectives.
    Keywords: Sanctions, services trade, heterogeneity, GSDB, structural gravity
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Lay, Jann; Tafese, Tevin
    Abstract: This study investigates the characteristics of Africa's tech sector, its digital services, and its impact on economic development, specifically on labour markets. Our literature review and new analyses based on a database of African startups shows that Africa's emergent tech sector is adapting to the continent's constraints on development and, sometimes, contributes to overcoming them. A case in point is the credit constraints that numerous startups have overcome to attract very significant amounts of capital. Tech startups tend to be concentrated in financial services in the "Big Four": Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria. We show, first, that "home-grown" African platform businesses do not simply connect demand and supply, but also invest in logistics and infrastructure; second, that many tech firms offer multiple products that complement the original service; and third, that business models often rely on large networks of agents. We conclude that more evidence on the impact of digital technologies is needed.
    Keywords: Africa, digitalisation, startups, development, labour markets, ICT
    JEL: N27 M13 J40 L86
    Date: 2023

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