nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2024‒04‒29
seven papers chosen by
Marek Giebel, Universität Dortmund

  1. Information Technology, Gender Economic Inclusion and Environment Sustainability in Sub-Sahara Africa By Cheikh T. Ndour; Simplice A. Asongu
  2. Digitalisation and employment in the EU 1995-2019 By Anabela Marques Santos; Javier Barbero; Simone Salotti; Andrea Conte
  3. Techies and Firm-Level Productivity By Harrigan, James; Reshef, Ariell; Toubal, Farid
  4. Governance, debt service, information technology and access to electricity in Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Sara le Roux
  5. Mobile Internet, Collateral, and Banking By Angelo D’Andrea; Patrick Hitayezu; Mr. Kangni R Kpodar; Nicola Limodio; Mr. Andrea F Presbitero
  6. Digital tools in the potato value chain in Kenya: A landscape analysis By Borus, Dinah
  7. Predicting the impact of e-commerce indices on international trade in Iran and other selected members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by using the artificial intelligence and P-VAR model By Soheila Khajoui; Saeid Dehyadegari; Sayyed Abdolmajid Jalaee

  1. By: Cheikh T. Ndour (Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal); Simplice A. Asongu (Johannesburg, South Africa)
    Abstract: Purpose – This study examines the relevance of information and communication technologies in the effect of gender economic inclusion on environmental sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The focus is on a panel of 42 sub-Saharan African countries over the period 2005-2020. The empirical evidence is based on generalized method of moments. The environmental sustainability indicator used is CO2 emissions per capita. Two indicators of women's economic inclusion are considered: women's labour force participation and women's unemployment. The chosen ICT indicators are mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and fixed broadband subscriptions. Findings – The results show that: (i) fixed broadband subscriptions represent the most relevant ICT moderator of gender economic inclusion for an effect on CO2 emissions; (ii) negative net effects are apparent for the most part with fixed broadband subscriptions (iii) both positive ICT thresholds (i.e., critical levels for complementary policies) and negative ICT thresholds (i.e., minimum ICT levels for negative net effects) are provided; (iv) ICT synergy effects are apparent for female unemployment, but not for female employment. In general, the joint effect of ICTs or their synergies and economic inclusion should be a concern for policymakers in order to better ensure sustainable development. Moreover, the relevant ICT policy thresholds and mobile phone threshold for complementary policy are essential in promoting a green economy. Originality/value –The study complements the extant literature by assessing linkages between information technology, gender economic inclusion and environmental sustainability.
    Keywords: ICT, Gender inclusion; Environment sustainability; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: C52 O38 O40 O55 P37
    Date: 2024–01
  2. By: Anabela Marques Santos (European Commission - JRC); Javier Barbero (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid); Simone Salotti (European Commission - JRC); Andrea Conte (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The recent increase in the use of digital technologies has brought benefits in terms of increased productivity, sales and exports. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated the digital transition, pushing both governments and businesses to invest more in information and communication technology (ICT). Policy makers and researchers are interested in assessing the macroeconomic and distributional effects of digitalisation on the labour market. The impact of digitalisation may be either positive or negative, and may affect certain jobs and sectors more than others. Several recent studies have quantified the net impact of digital technologies on employment, with mixed results. This Policy Insight reports the results of a study using European Union (EU) data from 1995 to 2019, which finds a net positive effect, albeit heterogeneous across countries.
    Keywords: digitalisation, employment
    JEL: C68 R13
    Date: 2024–03
  3. By: Harrigan, James; Reshef, Ariell; Toubal, Farid
    Abstract: We study the impact of techies — engineers and other technically trained workers — on firm-level productivity. We first report new facts on the role of techies in the firm by leveraging French administrative data and unique surveys. Techies are STEM-skill intensive and are associated with innovation, as well as with technology adoption, management, and diffusion within firms. Using structural econometric methods, we estimate the causal effect of techies on firm-level Hicks-neutral productivity in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. We find that techies raise firm-level productivity, and this effect goes beyond the employment of R\&D workers, extending to ICT and other techies. In non-manufacturing firms, the impact of techies on productivity operates mostly through ICT and other techies, not R\&D workers. Engineers have a greater effect on productivity than technicians.
    Keywords: productivity, R&D, ICT, techies, STEM skills
    Date: 2024–03
  4. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Oxford, UK); Sara le Roux (Oxford, UK)
    Abstract: The study investigates the role of governance (i.e., ‘voice & accountability’, political stability/no violence, regulatory quality, government effectiveness, corruption-control and the rule of law) in the incidence of short-term debt services on infrastructure development in the perspective of telecommunication infrastructure and access to electricity. The focus of the study is on 52 African countries for the period 2002-2021. The generalized method of moments is employed as estimation strategy and the following findings are established. Debt service has a negative unconditional effect on access to electricity and telecommunication infrastructure. Governance dynamics moderate the negative effect of debt service on infrastructure dynamics. Effective moderation is from regulatory quality and corruption-control for access to electricity and from government effectiveness, regulatory quality, corruption-control and rule of law, for telecommunication infrastructure. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Debt service, governance; information technology; access to electricity; Africa
    JEL: F34 H63 O10 O40 O55
    Date: 2024–01
  5. By: Angelo D’Andrea; Patrick Hitayezu; Mr. Kangni R Kpodar; Nicola Limodio; Mr. Andrea F Presbitero
    Abstract: Combining administrative data on credit, internet penetration and a land reform in Rwanda, this paper shows that the complementarity between technology and law can overcome financial frictions. Leveraging quasi-experimental variation in 3G availability from lightning strikes and incidental coverage, we show that mobile connectivity steers borrowers from microfinance to commercial banks and improves loan terms. These effects are partly due to the role of 3G internet in facilitating the acquisition of land titles from the reform, used as a collateral for bank loans and mortgages. We quantify that the collateral's availability mediates 35% of the overall effect of mobile internet on credit and 80% for collateralized loans.
    Keywords: Banks; Credit; High-speed Internet; Mobile; Technological Change
    Date: 2024–03–29
  6. By: Borus, Dinah
    Abstract: Potato sector has a substantial role in Kenya's agriculture, contributing to food security, nutrition, and the national economy. While underscoring the sector's vast potential, this Technical Brief identifies the existing gap between current yields and achievable targets, highlighting the necessity for strategic improvements in farming practices. It accentuates the transformative impact of digital tools in the agricultural landscape, notably accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitated by the widespread use of mobile technology and internet access in the country. In particular, this brief spotlights the Viazi Soko (VS) digital platform, an initiative specifically designed for the potato value chain, offering a range of services from e-advisory to market linkages. Despite the innovative features and strategic importance of digital platforms, the underlying research reveals a discrepancy in the adoption and utilization of digital tools among farmers, attributed to challenges such as limited awareness of these tools, low internet connectivity in rural areas, and the affordability of digital access. To bridge this digital divide, the report proposes targeted interventions to enhance the adoption of digital tools, focusing on increasing awareness, improving digital literacy, and establishing a potato-specific call center to provide real-time, tailored support to farmers. By advocating for a more integrated approach that combines digital innovation with farmer education and support, the report envisions a future where digital tools are leveraged to unlock the full potential of the potato sector in Kenya, leading to increased productivity, profitability, and a more robust contribution to the nation's food security and economic resilience.
    Keywords: potatoes; digital technology; agriculture; information systems; covid-19; food security; Kenya; Africa
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Soheila Khajoui; Saeid Dehyadegari; Sayyed Abdolmajid Jalaee
    Abstract: This study aims at predicting the impact of e-commerce indicators on international trade of the selected OECD countries and Iran, by using the artificial intelligence approach and P-VAR. According to the nature of export, import, GDP, and ICT functions, and the characteristics of nonlinearity, this analysis is performed by using the MPL neural network. The export, import, GDP, and ICT findings were examined with 99 percent accuracy. Using the P-VAR model in the Eviews software, the initial database and predicted data were applied to estimate the impact of e-commerce on international trade. The findings from analyzing the data show that there is a bilateral correlation between e-commerce which means that ICT and international trade affect each other and the Goodness of fit of the studied model is confirmed.
    Date: 2024–03

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