nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2023‒12‒11
five papers chosen by
Marek Giebel, Universität Dortmund

  1. (Mis-)information technology: Internet use and perception of democracy in Africa By Joël Cariolle; Yasmine Elkhateeb; Mathilde Maurel
  2. Digitalization: the edge of first movers By Cátia Cerqueira; Fernando Alexandre; Miguel Portela
  3. Online Health Information Seeking Behavior, Healthcare Access, and Health Status During Exceptional Times By Cinzia Di Novi; Matija Kovacic; Cristina Elisa Orso
  4. Effect of Peer Information and Peer Communication on Working Performance By Le Thanh Binh
  5. Global Vulnerability Assessment of Mobile Telecommunications Infrastructure to Climate Hazards using Crowdsourced Open Data By Edward J. Oughton; Tom Russell; Jeongjin Oh; Sara Ballan; Jim W. Hall

  1. By: Joël Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Yasmine Elkhateeb (Cairo University, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Mathilde Maurel (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The Internet has significantly expanded worldwide, changing our relationship with the world, and the way we communicate, educate, and inform ourselves. Africa, despite having a very low number of fixed-broadband subscriptions for 100 inhabitants, has not escaped the Internet phenomenon, as the number of individuals with Internet access has risen from 2 in 2002 to 39.7 (per 100 inhabitants) in 2022. Similarly, the number of individuals with mobilecellular telephone subscriptions has jumped from 12.4 in 2002 to 86.3 (per 100 inhabitants) in 2022 (ITU, 2022).
    Keywords: Internet, Africa, Digital technologies, Digital development
    Date: 2023–11–16
  2. By: Cátia Cerqueira (NIPE/Center for Research in Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal); Fernando Alexandre (NIPE/Center for Research in Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal); Miguel Portela (NIPE/Center for Research in Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal; and IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper examines firms’ characteristics and the impact on firm performance of being a first mover in the adoption of cloud computing and big data digital technologies, relative to followers and non-adopters. Our results show that firms with higher levels of education both for managers and workers, and shorter managerial tenure are more likely to be digital adopters. First movers in the adoption of big data show distinct characteristics from followers, namely they are younger and have a larger share of higher education workers. Regarding the impact on firm performance, we find that first movers in cloud computing experience significant performance gains, namely in gross value added and productivity, compared to non-adopters, but no gains relative to followers. Interestingly, first movers in big data exhibit a productivity edge over followers and non-adopters. Furthermore, we find that higher levels of education and shorter managerial tenure amplify the positive effects of big data adoption on firm performance.
    Keywords: cloud computing, big data, management, digitalization, productivity, ICT
    JEL: D24 M10 E22 E23 J24 O33 L20
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Cinzia Di Novi (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)); Matija Kovacic (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Department of Economics, University Of Venice CÃ Foscari); Cristina Elisa Orso (Department of Law, Economics, and Cultures, University of Insubria)
    Abstract: Online health information seeking behavior (e-HISB) is becoming increasingly common and the trend has accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when individuals strongly relied upon the Internet to stay informed by becoming exposed to a wider array of health information. Despite e-HISB having become a global trend, very few empirical investigations have analyzed its potential impact on healthcare access and individuals' health status. In this paper, we try to fill this gap. We use data from the second SHARE Corona Survey and estimate a recursive model of e-HISB, healthcare access, and individuals' health status that accounts for individuals' unobserved heterogeneity. The most interesting result concerns the e-HISB indirect effect on individuals' poor health through healthcare access, that is positive. Arguably, patients use information from the Internet to cope with their perceived vulnerability to illness, but they lack the ability to understand the medical information: an incorrect self-diagnosis may increase the likelihood of doctor visits for them, which, in turn, also increases the likelihood of perceiving a poor health status.
    Keywords: health information seeking behavior, healthcare access, health status
    JEL: I10 I12
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Le Thanh Binh (University of HawaiÕi at Manoa)
    Abstract: This study aims to investigate and decompose the effect of peers on work performance through two specific channels: peer performance information and peer communication. The participants performed a real-effort task of adding two highest numbers from a pair of 4x4 matrices and were paid by piece rate under four different treatments. The treatments differed in whether peer performance information on a randomly matched other participant was provided, and whether the matched participants could communicate via chatbox. Overall, I found no evidence of the significant peer effects through either peer performance information or through communication. However, the effects of these channels on the individual performance are found for some subsets of participants. The high performers reported communication to be a distraction rather than a cooperation opportunity with their partner; their productivity is reduced in the presence of the chatbox. For females, the individual productivity is significantly reduced in the presence of both peer performance information and communication via chatbox. My experimental results also connect to the literature on gender differences in the competitive environment.
    Keywords: Communication, Peer Information, Individual Performance, Piece rate
    JEL: D81 D91
    Date: 2023–11
  5. By: Edward J. Oughton; Tom Russell; Jeongjin Oh; Sara Ballan; Jim W. Hall
    Abstract: The ongoing change in Earth`s climate is causing an increase in the frequency and severity of climate-related hazards, for example, from coastal flooding, riverine flooding, and tropical cyclones. There is currently an urgent need to quantify the potential impacts of these events on infrastructure and users, especially for hitherto neglected infrastructure sectors, such as telecommunications, particularly given our increasing dependence on digital technologies. In this analysis a global assessment is undertaken, quantifying the number of mobile cells vulnerable to climate hazards using open crowdsourced data equating to 7.6 million 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G assets. For a 0.01% annual probability event under a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5), the number of affected cells is estimated at 2.26 million for tropical cyclones, equating to USD 1.01 billion in direct damage (an increase against the historical baseline of 14% and 44%, respectively). Equally, for coastal flooding the number of potentially affected cells for an event with a 0.01% annual probability under RCP8.5 is 109.9 thousand, equating to direct damage costs of USD 2.69 billion (an increase against the baseline of 70% and 78%, respectively). The findings demonstrate the need for risk analysts to include mobile communications (and telecommunications more broadly) in future critical national infrastructure assessments. Indeed, this paper contributes a proven assessment methodology to the literature for use in future research for assessing this critical infrastructure sector.
    Date: 2023–11

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