nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2024‒01‒01
five papers chosen by
Marek Giebel, Universität Dortmund

  1. The access to broadband services as a strategy to retain population in the depopulated countryside in Spain By Merino, Fernando; Prats, María a.; Prieto-Sánchez, Carlos-Javier
  2. Examining the gender digital divide: A case study from rural Kenya By Ferguson, Nathaniel; Seymour, Greg; Azzarri, Carlo
  3. Stock Market Reactions to Corporate Blockchain Announcements By Rogalski, Timo
  4. Browsers Don’t Lie? Gender Differences in the Effects of the Indian COVID-19 Lockdown on Digital Activity and Time Use By Amalia R. Miller; Kamalini Ramdas; Alp Sungu
  5. Organizing data analytics By Alonso, Ricardo; Câmara, Odilon

  1. By: Merino, Fernando; Prats, María a.; Prieto-Sánchez, Carlos-Javier
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze at what extent the connectivity of small localities is a determinant of their demography. Specifically, we pay attention to three factors: the evolution of the population; the distance, measured both in kilometres and travel time, to the province capital, the usual city where the largest set of services is available; and finally, the coverage of different kinds of broadband services (from ADSL or 3.5 G to the fastest ones FTTH) in rural areas. An econometric model was estimated where the dependent variable captures the increase of inhabitants along 2017–2020 of the 5955 Spanish municipalities with a population between 101 and 10, 000 inhabitants (73.3 % of all municipalities). The results point out to the following facts: digital connectivity of small localities is a determinant of their demography, whatever the technology used, but physical distance remains being a significant factor on the population growth (both if it is measured of physical distance or travelling time) to explain the population growth of each locality.
    Keywords: internet connexions; broadband; sustainability; territorial cohesion
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2024–01–01
  2. By: Ferguson, Nathaniel; Seymour, Greg; Azzarri, Carlo
    Abstract: Worldwide, cell phones are used by 5.4 billion people. They are becoming increasingly prevalent in the rural areas of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), providing smallholder farmers with access to agricultural markets. If they reduce information asymmetries between women and men farmers, they can also contribute to closing the gender gap in agricultural productivity. So far, however, digital innovations have had limited success in transforming agricultural systems. This may be due, in part, to the gender gap in cell-phone use. Rural women in LMICs—particularly those with low incomes, low literacy levels, or disabilities—are less likely than rural men to have access to cell phones, the Internet, digital currency, or other digital services. This policy note summarizes research intended to shed light on the impact of cell-phone ownership and use on the gender gap in agricultural productivity in LMICs.
    Keywords: KENYA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; communication technology; rural areas; smallholders; agriculture; markets; agricultural productivity; gender
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Rogalski, Timo
    Abstract: The dissertation's central focus lies in investigating the influence of temporal, industry-specific, firm-specific, and project-specific factors on the stock market risk and return associated with corporate blockchain announcements. Structured into three chapters, the research employs theoretical frameworks and empirical analyses to uncover nuanced insights. Chapter 2, anchored in signaling theory, examines the general market impact of corporate blockchain announcements, considering temporal factors, cryptocurrency hype phases, and differences between US and EU-based companies. It reveals significant positive stock market returns associated with blockchain news, amplified by project success, business-relatedness, and cryptocurrency hype periods. Chapter 3 extends the analysis to industry-level factors, revealing that firms in the Information Technology industry benefit more from blockchain announcements. It explores additional project-level effects, such as blockchain partnerships and consortium joinings, and assesses their impact on market risk. The findings suggest that blockchain announcements do not substantially alter a firm's risk profile. Chapter 4 focuses on specific blockchain use cases, emphasizing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. It uncovers significant positive market reactions to ESG-related blockchain announcements and explores shareholder returns in supply chain management and finance-related use cases. The study suggests that shareholders react more favorably to project-specific announcements and less favorably to initiatives involving external IT service providers. By thoroughly analyzing diverse factors, this dissertation contributes to the ongoing academic discourse on the valuation of blockchain technology, offering a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics shaping corporate market value and risk in the era of blockchain adoption.
    Date: 2023–12–05
  4. By: Amalia R. Miller; Kamalini Ramdas; Alp Sungu
    Abstract: We measure the impact of the initial Indian national COVID-19 lockdown on digital activity using browser histories of 1, 094 individuals, spanning over 31.5 million website visits on computers and mobile devices. Reflecting the predicted increase in the value of online activity, both men and women in our sample dramatically increased their internet browsing during the lockdown. However, men’s browsing increased by significantly more, causing gender gaps overall and in key browsing categories, and in browsing on mobile devices. Our browser data showed significant relative reductions in women’s online job search, corroborated in aggregate data obtained from a major Indian online job platform, indicating potentially persistent harms to women’s employment. Consistent with increased childcare obligations driving the observed gender gaps, we find that gaps were greatest among parents. Men and women in our sample had similar browsing levels and trends pre-pandemic, which diverged during the lockdown. Our primary findings therefore shed new light on determinants of digital time use, while also highlighting the importance of considering both extensive and intensive margins of digital activity to track the digital divide. In our secondary analysis of time devoted to childcare, we find conflicting survey responses between fathers (who report an increase relative to mothers) and mothers (who report no such increase). While our data cannot directly resolve this conflict, they do show fathers having larger increases in time spent online, with no relative increase in childcare-related browsing. This secondary result demonstrates the value of complementing survey data with digital trace data.
    JEL: I18 J13 J16 J22 J24 K39 O15 O33
    Date: 2023–11
  5. By: Alonso, Ricardo; Câmara, Odilon
    Abstract: We develop a theory of credible skepticism in organizations to explain the main tradeoffs in organizing data generation, analysis, and reporting. In our designer-agent-principal game, the designer selects the information privately observed by the agent who can misreport it at a cost, whereas the principal can audit the report. We study three organizational levers: tampering prevention, tampering detection, and the allocation of the experimental-design task. We show that motivating informative experimentation while discouraging misreporting are often conflicting organizational goals. To incentivize experimentation, the principal foregoes a flawless tampering detection/prevention system and separates the tasks of experimental design and analysis.
    Keywords: strategic experimentation; Bayesian persuasion; tampering; organizational design; information technology; audit
    JEL: D80 D83 M10
    Date: 2023–07–18

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