nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒08‒14
three papers chosen by
Marek Giebel
Universität Dortmund

  1. Bottlenecks: Sectoral Imbalances and the US Productivity Slowdown By Daron Acemoglu; David Autor; Christina Patterson
  2. Impact of E-commerce Development on Income Inequality: Evidence from rural China based on cross-county panel data By MA Xinxin; KOMATSU Sho
  3. Transforming African agricultural markets through digital innovations: What we (do not) know By Abay, Kibrom A.; Abate, Gashaw Tadesse; Chamberlin, Jordan; Kassim, Yumna; Spielman, David J.; Tabe-Ojong, Martin Paul, Jr.

  1. By: Daron Acemoglu; David Autor; Christina Patterson
    Abstract: Despite the rapid pace of innovation in information and communications technologies (ICT) and electronics, aggregate US productivity growth has been disappointing since the 1970s. We propose and empirically explore the hypothesis that slow growth stems in part from an unbalanced sectoral distribution of innovation over the last several decades. Because an industry's success in innovation depends on complementary innovations among its input suppliers, rapid productivity growth that is concentrated in a subset of sectors may create bottlenecks and consequently fail to translate into commensurate aggregate productivity gains. Using data on input-output linkages, citation linkages, industry productivity growth and patenting, we find evidence consistent with this hypothesis: the variance of suppliers' Total Factor Productivity growth or innovation adversely affects an industry's own TFP growth and innovation. Our estimates suggest that a substantial share of the productivity slowdown in the United States (and several other industrialized economies) can be accounted for by a sizable increase in cross-industry variance of TFP growth and innovation. For example, if TFP growth variance had remained at the 1977-1987 level, US manufacturing productivity would have grown twice as rapidly in 1997-2007 as it did—yielding a counterfactual growth rate that would have been close to that of 1977-1987 and 1987-1997.
    JEL: O30 O47
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: MA Xinxin; KOMATSU Sho
    Abstract: Information and communications technology (ICT) is rapidly developing worldwide. Some studies argue that ICT increases income inequality in developed countries; however, evidence on the relationship between progress in ICT and income inequality in developing countries is scarce. Using an original cross-county panel data from 2011 to 2018, we investigated the impact of e-commerce development on income inequality in rural China while considering endogeneity issues. We found that the effect of e-commerce on income inequality differed by region: e-commerce development could expand income inequality in developed counties, while reducing it in less-developed ones; the total effect of e-commerce on the income inequality was insignificant. Additionally, this effect was greater in counties with a higher level of agricultural modernization. Furthermore, the decomposition results indicated that differences in e-commerce accessibility and income return of e-commerce usage contributed to widening the income inequality between developed and less-developed rural counties.
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Abate, Gashaw Tadesse; Chamberlin, Jordan; Kassim, Yumna; Spielman, David J.; Tabe-Ojong, Martin Paul, Jr.
    Abstract: This policy note synthesizes the key messages and lessons from existing evidence and trends in the development, deployment and scale up of ICT-enabled marketing tools. It is based on the recently published discussion paper titled “Digital tools and agricultural market transformation in Africa: Why are they not at scale yet, and what will it take to get there†. Key messages • Many digital innovations have been developed and deployed in recent years in Africa, many of which have only been implemented at pilot stages, with limited evidence of successful scaling. • There remains significant marketing and institutional constraints hindering the development of some of these digital innovations, which may further explain disparate progress in countries. • Differential access to digital innovations across genders and different typologies of households may trigger alternative variants of digital divide. • Although the landscape of digital innovations in Africa offers several reasons to remain optimistic, the prevailing disconnect between pilots and scale-ups merits further evaluation.
    Keywords: AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, CENTRAL AFRICA, EAST AFRICA, NORTH AFRICA, SOUTHERN AFRICA, WEST AFRICA, digital technology, innovation, agriculture, markets, digital divide, risk, Information and Communication Technologies, policies
    Date: 2022

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