nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒09‒18
four papers chosen by
Marek Giebel, Universität Dortmund

  1. Technology Evolution and Tax Compliance: Evidence from Rwanda By Hakizimana, Naphtal; Santoro, Fabrizio
  2. Does Digitalization Matter? Evidence from Egyptian and Jordanian Firms By Chahir Zaki
  3. Generative AI and jobs a global analysis of potential effects on job quantity and quality By Gmyrek, Pawel,; Berg, Janine,; Bescond, David,
  4. Influencing ICTs: Born in the West and “returning” to Vietnam By Le, Dan

  1. By: Hakizimana, Naphtal; Santoro, Fabrizio
    Abstract: Information technology (IT) has great potential to help increase taxpayer compliance and revenue collection. Despite the increasing use of IT solutions by African tax administrations, evidence on its effectiveness remains limited. In Rwanda, the Revenue Authority introduced a more advanced version of its electronic billing machines (EBM) to enhance its ability to track business transactions remotely and to improve taxpayers’ experience of using the machines. Using a wealth of administrative data collected by the Revenue Authority, this paper evaluates the impact of the adoption of EBM2 on the ways in which firms file their tax returns. In particular, we are able to compare first-time users of EBM2, who are mostly new taxpayers, with ‘shifters’, who moved from the old EBM1 to EBM2. We looked first at value added tax (VAT). Overall, the adoption of EBM2 resulted in significant increases in reported business turnover, non-taxable sales, taxable sales, VAT inputs and VAT due. There was also a reduction in the proportion of completed VAT returns that implied zero VAT liabilities. Unsurprisingly, there was no significant overall change in the VAT returns from ‘shifters’. They had probably internalised the benefits of electronic billing machines when using the earlier EBM1 version. The effects of the adoption of EBM2 on income tax returns are less positive. Overall, no increase in income tax liability is reported. These results suggest that taxpayers do not believe that the Revenue Authority will attempt to reconcile their (separate) VAT and income tax returns. Taxpayers probably provide more reliable VAT returns because they believe, on the basis of the installation of electronic billing machines, with upgrades, that the Revenue Authority is focusing more on VAT. The main policy implication is that the Revenue Authority should make more effort to reconcile firms’ separate VAT and income tax returns, so that the positive effects of the new electronic billing machines on VAT compliance will spillover into income tax compliance.
    Keywords: Finance, Technology,
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Chahir Zaki (Cairo University)
    Abstract: Generally, digitalized firms are more productive, more likely to export, and more likely to rely skilled labor. This paper thus analyzes the effect of digitalization on firms’ performance (measured by exports and sales) and labor characteristics (measured by female workers, unpaid workers, parttime workers and workers with permanent contract). To do so, I rely on a newly collected dataset that focuses on firms’ digitalization. I use variables related to digitalization (whether the firm has a website or not, uses smartphones or not, online selling and buying, the Internet, is listed on an application and self-built sales website that enables online payments). The main findings show that the results are more robust for labor characteristics than for performance variables. Indeed, while, in Egypt, digitalization is associated to more women, less unpaid workers and more workers with permanent contract, the result is less robust for sales and exports. Yet, for sales, the use of the Internet is significant in both Egypt and Jordan. Listing the firm on an application is positively associated to sales in Egypt but not in Jordan. In terms of exports, self-built websites for payments in Egypt and using Internet in Jordan are significant.
    Date: 2023–04–20
  3. By: Gmyrek, Pawel,; Berg, Janine,; Bescond, David,
    Abstract: This study assesses the potential global exposure of occupations to Generative AI, particularly GPT-4. It predicts that the overwhelming effect of the technology will be to augment occupations, rather than to automate them. The greatest impact is likely to be in high and upper-middle income countries due to a higher share of employment in clerical occupations. As clerical jobs are an important source of female employment, the effects are highly gendered. Insights from this study underline the need for proactive policies that focus on job quality, ensure fair transitions, and that are based on dialogue and adequate regulation.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence, employment opportunity, working conditions, women workers, access to information technology, impact evaluation
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Le, Dan
    Abstract: Since the 1986 Doi Moi reform, an increasing number of labor migrants and students leave Vietnam every year for better opportunities abroad. During the same period, members of the diaspora have been returning to the country. According to government estimates, over 500, 000 Vietnamese return to Vietnam each year to work, live, and retire. Among these returnees are a group who have made Vietnam their home: the Western-born, second generation. This paper explores the significance of online community memberships in the construction of identity and belonging among Western-born Vietnamese who “return” to their ancestral homeland. Drawing on 32 online in-depth interviews with second generation Vietnamese living in Vietnam, from 11 disparate Western countries, it underscores how identity and belonging, state policies, and information communication technologies (ICTs) intersect to prompt and obscure the ethnic returns of western-born Vietnamese migrants.
    Date: 2023–08–18

This nep-ict issue is ©2023 by Marek Giebel. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.