nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒08‒21
six papers chosen by
Marek Giebel, Universität Dortmund

  1. Mega Firms and Recent Trends in the U.S. Innovation: Empirical Evidence from the U.S. Patent Data By Serguey Braguinsky; Joonkyu Choi; Yuheng Ding; Karam Jo; Seula Kim
  2. The impact of ICT adoption on productivity: Evidence from Portuguese firm-level data By João Amador; Cátia Silva
  3. The Impact of Shared Telecom Infrastructure on Digital Connectivity and Inclusion By Houngbonon, Georges Vivien; Ivaldi, Marc; Palikot, Emil; Strusani, Davide
  4. The Capability Approach and A Critique of the Design of Digital Spaces By Victoria Sgarro; Madhav Tipu Ramachandran
  5. Universal Coverage, Enhancing Spacecom Sector Growth, and Supporting Democratic Ethos: The Role of Satellite Spectrum Assignment By Rekha Jain
  6. Artificial intelligence in human resource management a challenge for the human-centred agenda? By Cappelli, Peter,; Rogovsky, Nikolai,

  1. By: Serguey Braguinsky; Joonkyu Choi; Yuheng Ding; Karam Jo; Seula Kim
    Abstract: We use the U.S. patent data merged with firm-level datasets to establish new facts about the role of mega firms in generating “novel patents”—innovations that introduce new combinations of technology components for the first time. While the importance of mega firms in novel patents had been declining until about 2000, it has strongly rebounded since then. The timing of this turnaround coincided with the ascendance of firms that newly became mega firms in the 2000s, and a shift in the technological contents, characterized by increasing integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and non-ICT components. Mega firms also generate a disproportionately large number of “hits”—novel patents that lead to the largest numbers of follow-on patents (subsequent patents that use the same combinations of technology components as the first novel patent)—and their hits tend to generate more follow-on patents assigned to other firms when compared to hits generated by non-mega firms. Overall, our findings suggest that mega firms play an increasingly important role in generating new technological trajectories in recent years, especially in combining ICT with non-ICT components.
    JEL: L10 O30 O32 O33
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: João Amador; Cátia Silva
    Abstract: In this paper we study the impact of ICT adoption on the level of labour productivity and TFP of Portuguese firms in the period 2004-2018. For this purpose we combine firm-level annual survey data for different dimensions of ICT adoption and balance sheet variables that allow for the computation of productivity and control for several dimensions of heterogeneity. The paper uses a Bartik (1991) shift-share type instrumental variable and results state that there is a positive and sizeable impact from ICT adoption on TFP and labour productivity. One standard deviation increase in the first principal component that captures overall ICT adoption by the firm leads to an increase of 25 percent in TFP and an increase of 58 percent in labour productivity. When the analysis is made separately, online sales and the creation of a website stand out as the most relevant dimensions for productivity gains.
    JEL: J24 O3 O4
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Houngbonon, Georges Vivien; Ivaldi, Marc; Palikot, Emil; Strusani, Davide
    Abstract: A substantial number of individuals remains unconnected to the Internet despite an increasing emphasis on infrastructure-based competition. This paper investigates the impact of shared telecom infrastructure on digital connectivity and inclusion using a new dataset on mobile tower sharing transactions between 2008 and 2020, i.e., acquisitions of towers by independent companies from mobile network operators to be rented back to all operators. Estimates based on difference-in-differences with different timing of treatment suggest that these transactions resulted in a significant drop in the price of mobile connectivity as well as an increase in availability and uptake of mobile Internet, especially by rural households and women. Our findings suggest that increased competition intensity through reduced market concentration appears to be the main driver of these outcomes.
    Keywords: Mobile Telecommunications; Vertical Integration; Digital Technology Adoption
    JEL: L96 L14 O14
    Date: 2023–04
  4. By: Victoria Sgarro (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research, USA); Madhav Tipu Ramachandran (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research, USA)
    Abstract: This paper aims to advance two claims about the"public spaces" of the internet (that is, forums of public interaction online, like social media, news media, message boards and forums, and so on). First, we argue that a broadly utilitarian framework guides the technology industry’s approach to the design of digital spaces, and therefore limits the design and evaluation of these spaces to revealed preference satisfaction. As such, this framework lacks the conceptual resources to diagnose or to understand the shortcomings of today’s digital public spaces, or to coherently respond to these shortcomings. We consider a rights-based framework as an alternative philosophical framework for the design of digital spaces, but find it unsatisfactory. Second, we argue that the capability approach, as an objectivist and pluralist value theory, offers a more constructive understanding of individual flourishing in digital spaces. While this paper primarily seeks to argue why we should apply the capability approach to digital spaces, we conclude by suggesting how to apply the capability approach to digital spaces –– a promising area for further research.
    Date: 2023–07
  5. By: Rekha Jain (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER))
    Abstract: Satellite communication is integral to Digital India, enabling ubiquitous broadband for the uncovered population and supporting satellite TV, the dominant source of infotainment. An enabling policy environment would help increase the market share of Indian satellite service providers from the current 2 per cent of the global market. Satellite spectrum is a shared resource, in contrast to mobile and broadcast terrestrial services, that require exclusive assignment. It is imperative that the spectrum assignment policy leverages this aspect. This paper develops criteria for assessment of the two possible policies - exclusive assignments through auctions and shared assignments administratively. We find that the latter meets the above stated policy objectives better, is in tune with global best practices and supports multiplicity of satellite TV channels providing plurality of content, critical for a functioning democracy. It suggests an administered price model for allocation of satellite spectrum with a one-time payment of license fee and a revenue share of aggregate gross revenue, annually.
    Keywords: satellite communications, space, spectrum management, auctions
    Date: 2023–07
  6. By: Cappelli, Peter,; Rogovsky, Nikolai,
    Abstract: The ILO human-centred agenda puts the needs, aspirations and rights of all people at the heart of economic, social and environmental policies. At the enterprise level, this approach calls for broader employee representation and involvement that could be powerful factors for productivity growth. However, the implementation of the human-centred agenda at the workplace level may be challenged by the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in various areas of corporate human resource management (HRM). While firms are enthusiastically embracing AI and digital technology in a number of HRM areas, their understanding of how such innovations affect the workforce often lags behind or is not viewed as a priority. This paper offers guidance as to when and where the use of AI in HRM should be encouraged, and where it is likely to cause more problems than it solves.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence, human resources management, information technology
    Date: 2023

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