nep-pay New Economics Papers
on Payment Systems and Financial Technology
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
eight papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Bangor University

  1. Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers in Retrospective and Perspective By Alexander Lipton
  2. Consumer switching intentions for telecoms services: evidence from Ireland By Peter D., Lunn; Sean, Lyons
  3. Determinants of Mobile Phone Penetration: Panel Threshold Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
  4. Money and Credit; Theory and Applications By Liang Wang; Randall Wright; Lucy Qian Liu
  5. Technological Advancement and the Evolving Gender Identities: A Focus on the Level of Female Economic Participation in Sub-Saharan Africa By Efobi, Uchenna; Tanankem, Belmondo; Asongu, Simplice
  6. Do ICTs Reduce Youth Unemployment in MENA Countries? By Ebaidalla Mahjoub Ebaidalla
  7. Redefining Protectionism: The new challenge in the digital age By Susan Ariel Aaronson
  8. Do Telecom Restrictive Policies Matter for Telecom Performance? Evidence from MENA Countries By Riham Ahmed Ezzat; Nora Aboushady

  1. By: Alexander Lipton
    Abstract: We introduce blockchains and distributed ledgers and describe their potential applications to money and banking. The analysis compares public and private ledgers and outlines the suitability of various types of ledgers for different purposes. Furthermore, a few historical prototypes of blockchains and distributed ledgers are presented, and results of their hard forking are illustrated. Next, some potential applications of distributed ledgers to trading, clearing and settlement, payments, trade finance, etc. are outlined. Monetary circuits are argued to be natural applications for blockchains. Finally, the role of digital currencies in modern society is articulated and various forms of digital cash, such as central bank issued electronic cash, bank money, bitcoin and P2P money, are compared and contrasted. Keywords: blockchains, distributed ledgers, digital currencies, modern monetary circuit; credit creation banking; interconnected banking network.
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Peter D., Lunn; Sean, Lyons
    Abstract: Despite long-standing market liberalisation and efforts to reduce switching costs, many consumers have never switched telecoms provider. This paper investigates how consumer and service characteristics relate to switching intentions, using a sample of fixed-line broadband, mobile telephony and landline telephony customers from a 2015 survey conducted by ComReg, Ireland’s National Regulatory Authority. We add to previous work by examining a rich array of personal and service characteristics while controlling for both bill shock and expected gains from switching. We find that long-standing subscribers who have never switched are exceptionally resistant to switching. Bill shock is strongly associated with intention to switch, especially among those more inclined to switch. A similar effect arises for expected gains, especially gains over 20%. These results are consistent with both a preference for fair treatment and with behavioural barriers to switching that require large gains to overcome. The effects of bundling and of the few socioeconomic, supplier or application use characteristics that are statistically significant are smaller and not consistent across markets. This implies that willingness to switch is not simply a characteristic of certain social groups, but is more complex and context dependent.
    Keywords: telecommunications services, consumer switching, Ireland
    JEL: D03 D12 L96
    Date: 2017–03–10
  3. By: Asongu, Simplice; Nwachukwu, Jacinta
    Abstract: Despite the evolving literature on the development benefits of mobile phones, we still know very little about factors that influence their adoption. Using twenty five policy variables, we investigate determinants of mobile phone penetration in 49 Sub-Saharan African countries with data for the period 2000-2012. The empirical evidence is based on contemporary and non-contemporary OLS, Fixed effects, System GMM and Quantile regression techniques. The determinants are classified into six policy categories. They are: (i) macroeconomic, (ii) business/bank, (iii) market-related, (iv) knowledge economy, (v) external flows and (vi) human development. Results are presented in terms of threshold and non-threshold effects. The former has three main implications. First, there are increasing positive benefits in regulation quality, human development, foreign investment, education, urban population density and internet penetration. Second, there is evidence of decreasing positive effects from patent applications. Third, increasing negative impacts are established for foreign aid and return on equity. Non-threshold tendencies are discussed. Policy implications are also covered with emphasis on policy syndromes to enhance more targeted implications for worst performing nations.
    Keywords: Panel data; Mobile phones; Development; Africa
    JEL: C23 L96 O11 O33 O55
    Date: 2016–11
  4. By: Liang Wang; Randall Wright; Lucy Qian Liu
    Abstract: We develop a theory of money and credit as competing payment instruments, then put it to work in applications. Buyers can use cash or credit, with the former (latter) subject to the inflation tax (transaction costs). Frictions that make the choice of payment method interesting also imply equilibrium price dispersion. We deliver closed-form solutions for money demand. We then show the model can simultaneously account for the price-change facts, cash-credit shares in micro payment data, and money-interest correlations in macro data. We analyze the effects of inflation on welfare, price dispersion and markups. We also describe nonstationary equilibria as self-fulfilling prophecies, which is standard, except here it entails dynamics in the price distribution.
    Keywords: Money;Credit;Demand for money;Sticky prices;Welfare;Econometric models;Money, Credit, Inflation, Price Dispersion, Sticky Prices
    Date: 2017–01–27
  5. By: Efobi, Uchenna; Tanankem, Belmondo; Asongu, Simplice
    Abstract: This study investigates how technological advancement improves gender identity by means of female economic participation in a panel 48 African countries for the period 1990-2014. Two indicators are used to measure female economic participation, namely, the: female labour force participation and employment rates. Technological advancement is measured with three main indicators, notably: internet penetration, mobile phone penetration and fixed broad band subscriptions. The empirical evidence is based on Ordinary Least Squares, Fixed Effects and System Generalized Method of Moments regressions. The findings show that improvement in technology increases female economic participation with the following consistent order of increasing magnitude: mobile phone penetration; internet penetration and fixed broad band subscriptions. The findings are robust to the control for: countries’ levels in economic development; the use of contemporary technology advancement indicators; internal conflicts and political stability; the level of social globalization and the use of alternative instruments. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Technology; Inclusive development; Africa
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2016–12
  6. By: Ebaidalla Mahjoub Ebaidalla (University of Khartoum, Sudan)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on youth unemployment in MENA countries. The study employs dynamic panel data for a sample of 17 countries, over the period 1995-2012. We investigate the effect of ICTs on total male and female youth unemployment. The empirical results show that fixed telephones and internet have a negative and significant effect on youth unemployment on both the aggregate and gendered levels. The results also show that for both aggregate and gendered levels of youth unemployment in the MENA region, the impact of mobile phones is found to be negative but not significant. The paper ends with some recommendations that aim to improve the employability of young workers in MENA countries, benefiting from the diffusion of ICT facilities in the region.
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Susan Ariel Aaronson (George Washington University)
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Riham Ahmed Ezzat (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and Cairo University); Nora Aboushady
    Abstract: The past decade has witnessed a significant transformation in the trade and regulatory policies of the telecom sector across the MENA region. Many countries committed to opening up their telecom sector to trade and investment under WTO commitments. However, these commitments do not always reflect actual policies. Although some MENA countries started easing telecom market restrictions and tended to adopt more open policies, other countries are still reluctant to change and continue to adopt highly restrictive policies limiting foreign ownership and control in the market. This paper empirically assesses the impact of the existing telecom restrictions on landline and mobile sector performance, using the World Bank Services Trade Restrictiveness Database (STRD), with a focus on MENA countries. We use three-stage least squares-Seemingly Unrelated Regression (3SLS-SUR) to test for the effect of restrictions and the level of competition in the telecom sector on selected performance indicators. Our findings suggest that restrictive telecom policies are more likely to affect landline rather than mobile communications. Moreover, being a MENA country affects the level of competition in the landline market. MENA countries are very protective of their incumbent operators, irrespective of the stipulated legal restrictions in place.
    Date: 2015–09

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