nep-pay New Economics Papers
on Payment Systems and Financial Technology
Issue of 2020‒05‒25
27 papers chosen by

  1. The economics of the German investigation of Facebook's data collection By Budzinski, Oliver; Gruésevaja, Marina; Noskova, Victoriia
  2. Assessing the 'digital divide' and its regional determinants: Evidence from a web-scraping analysis By Thonipara, Anita; Sternberg, Rolf G.; Proeger, Till; Haefner, Lukas
  3. The Welfare Effects of Mobile Broadband Internet : Evidence from Nigeria By Bahia,Kalvin; Castells,Pau; Cruz,Genaro; Masaki,Takaaki; Pedros,Xavier; Pfutze,Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
  4. The trainer, the verifier, the imitator: Three ways in which human platform workers support artificial intelligence By Paola Tubaro; Antonio Casilli; Marion Coville
  5. Pump and Dumps in the Bitcoin Era: Real Time Detection of Cryptocurrency Market Manipulations By Massimo La Morgia; Alessandro Mei; Francesco Sassi; Julinda Stefa
  6. The drivers of cyber risk By Iñaki Aldasoro; Leonardo Gambacorta; Paolo Giudici; Thomas Leach
  7. Do Ads Harm News Consumption? By Shunyao Yan; Klaus M. Miller; Bernd Skiera
  8. Descentralización de compra y distribución de ayuda alimentaria utilizando blockchain, contratos inteligentes y múltiples tokens fungibles. By Ariel E. Scaliter
  9. Steering Incentives of Platforms: Evidence from the Telecommunications Industry By Brian McManus; Aviv Nevo; Zachary Nolan; Jonathan W. Williams
  10. Digital Social Security: Outline of a concept for the 21st century By Weber, Enzo
  11. Limits of the platform economy: Digitalization and marketization in live music By Azzellini, Dario; Greer, Ian; Umney, Charles
  12. Stabilizing Congestion in Decentralized Record-Keepers By Assimakis Kattis; Fabian Trottner
  13. Hands on the Wheel, Eyes on the Phone: the Effect of Smart Phone Usage on Road Safety By Devi Brands; Joris Klingen; Francis Ostermeijer
  14. The Strategy of Innovative Development of Cross-Border E-Commerce Platforms in Vietnam By Tung, Dao Duy
  15. Economía creativa en la revolución digital: la acción para fortalecer la cadena regional de animación digital en países mesoamericanos By De Groot, Olaf; Dini, Marco; Gligo, Nicolo; Peralta, Leda; Rovira, Sebastián
  16. Fiber vs. vectoring: Limiting technology choices in broadband expansion By Fourberg, Niklas; Korff, Alex
  17. On health and privacy: technology to combat the pandemic By Carlos Cantú; Gong Cheng; Sebastian Doerr; Jon Frost; Leonardo Gambacorta
  18. Job Search during the COVID-19 Crisis By Hensvik, Lena; Le Barbanchon, Thomas; Rathelot, Roland
  19. Small Incentives May Have Large Effects: The Impact of Prices on the Demand for Plastic Bags By Cabrera, José María; Caffera, Marcelo; Cid, Alejandro
  20. The Money Market Fund Liquidity Facility By Marco Cipriani; Gabriele La Spada; Reed Orchinik; Aaron Plesset
  21. The Value of Time: Evidence From Auctioned Cab Rides By Nicholas Buchholz; Laura Doval; Jakub Kastl; Filip Matějka; Tobias Salz
  22. Trust in science and experts during the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy By Battiston, Pietro; Kashyap, Ridhi; Rotondi, Valentina
  23. Dynamic competition with network externalities: how history matters By Hanna Halaburda; Bruno Jullien; Yaron Yehezkel
  24. Application of Facebook's Prophet Algorithm for Successful Sales Forecasting Based on Real-world Data By Emir Zunic; Kemal Korjenic; Kerim Hodzic; Dzenana Donko
  25. Codetermination 2035. Four Scenarios: Focus on Digitalisation By Meinert, Sascha; Stollt, Michael
  26. Consumer purchasing behavior analysis using CVS POS data By Kaoru Kuramoto; Yosuke Kurihara; Satoshi Kumagai
  27. International Trade and Social Connectedness By Michael Bailey; Abhinav Gupta; Sebastian Hillenbrand; Theresa Kuchler; Robert Richmond; Johannes Stroebel

  1. By: Budzinski, Oliver; Gruésevaja, Marina; Noskova, Victoriia
    Abstract: The importance of digital platforms and related data-driven business models is ever increasing and poses challenges for the workability of competition in the respective markets (tendencies towards dominant platforms, paying-with-data instead of traditional money, privacy concerns, etc.). Due to such challenges, investigations of such markets are of high interest. One of recent cases is the investigation of Facebook's data collection practices by German competition authorities. Our paper, in contrast to the wide stream of legal studies on this case, aims to analyze whether Facebook's practices regarding data collection could constitute an abuse of market power from an economic perspective, more specifically against the background of modern data economics. In doing so we summarize the state of the advanced theories, including influences from behavioral economics, addressing such markets, and discuss four potential theories of harm.
    Keywords: data economics,big data,economics of privacy,competition,Facebook case,paying-with-data,abuse of dominance,market power,digital economy
    JEL: K21 L41 L86 L12 M21 L14 K42
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Thonipara, Anita; Sternberg, Rolf G.; Proeger, Till; Haefner, Lukas
    Abstract: Following the 'death of distance' postulate, digitization may reduce or even eliminate the penalty of firms being located in rural areas compared with those in urban agglomerations. Despite many recent attempts to measure digitization effects across space, there remains a lack of empirical evidence regarding the adoption of digital technologies from an explicit spatial perspective, i.e. comparing urban with rural areas. Using web-scraping data for a representative sample of 345,000 German firms, we analyze the determinants of homepage usage. Accordingly, we show that homepage usage - as a proxy for the degree of digitization of the respective firm - is highly dependent on location, whereby firms in urban areas are more than twice as likely to use webpages than those located in rural areas. Our county-level analysis shows that a high population density, young population, net gains in internal migration, high educational level and high firm-specific revenues have a positive and significant effect on the probability that firms conduct digital marketing using webpages. Access to broadband internet has a positive effect in rural areas. There are no differences between urban, suburban and rural areas in terms of webpage up-todateness as well as social media usage. We conclude that there is a substantial digital divide in online marketing and discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: digital divide,digitization,Germany,rural,Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises,urban,web-scraping
    JEL: D22 L22 L26
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Bahia,Kalvin; Castells,Pau; Cruz,Genaro; Masaki,Takaaki; Pedros,Xavier; Pfutze,Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impacts of mobile broadband coverage on household consumption and poverty in Nigeria, the largest economy and mobile broadband market in Africa. The analysis exploits a unique dataset that integrates three waves of a nationally representative longitudinal household survey on living standards with information from Nigerian mobile operators on the deployment of mobile broadband (3G and 4G) coverage between 2010 and 2016. The estimates show that mobile broadband coverage had large and positive impacts on household consumption levels which increased over time, although at a decreasing rate. Mobile broadband coverage also reduces the proportion of households below the poverty line, driven by higher food and non-food consumption in rural households. These effects are mainly due to an increase in labor force participation and employment, particularly among women.
    Date: 2020–05–05
  4. By: Paola Tubaro (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TAU - TAckling the Underspecified - LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - CentraleSupélec - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Inria Saclay - Ile de France - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique, LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - CentraleSupélec - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Antonio Casilli (I3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217) - Institut interdisciplinaire de l’innovation - X - École polytechnique - Télécom ParisTech - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Télécom ParisTech, IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris]); Marion Coville (Université de Poitiers)
    Abstract: This paper sheds light on the role of digital platform labour in the development of today's artificial intelligence, predicated on data-intensive machine learning algorithms. Focus is on the specific ways in which outsourcing of data tasks to myriad 'micro-workers', recruited and managed through specialized platforms, powers virtual assistants, self-driving vehicles and connected objects. Using qualitative data from multiple sources, we show that micro-work performs a variety of functions, between three poles that we label, respectively, 'artificial intelligence preparation', 'artificial intelligence verification' and 'artificial intelligence impersonation'. Because of the wide scope of application of micro-work, it is a structural component of contemporary artificial intelligence production processes - not an ephemeral form of support that may vanish once the technology reaches maturity stage. Through the lens of micro-work, we prefigure the policy implications of a future in which data technologies do not replace human workforce but imply its marginalization and precariousness.
    Keywords: Digital platform labour,micro-work,datafied production processes,artificial intelligence,machine learning
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: Massimo La Morgia; Alessandro Mei; Francesco Sassi; Julinda Stefa
    Abstract: In the last years, cryptocurrencies are increasingly popular. Even people who are not experts have started to invest in these securities and nowadays cryptocurrency exchanges process transactions for over 100 billion US dollars per month. However, many cryptocurrencies have low liquidity and therefore they are highly prone to market manipulation schemes. In this paper, we perform an in-depth analysis of pump and dump schemes organized by communities over the Internet. We observe how these communities are organized and how they carry out the fraud. Then, we report on two case studies related to pump and dump groups. Lastly, we introduce an approach to detect the fraud in real time that outperforms the current state of the art, so to help investors stay out of the market when a pump and dump scheme is in action.
    Date: 2020–05
  6. By: Iñaki Aldasoro; Leonardo Gambacorta; Paolo Giudici; Thomas Leach
    Abstract: Cyber incidents are becoming more sophisticated and their costs difficult to quantify. Using a unique database of more than 100,000 cyber events across sectors, we document the characteristics of cyber incidents. Cyber costs are higher for larger firms and for incidents that impact several organisations simultaneously. The financial sector is exposed to a larger number of cyber attacks but suffers lower costs, on average, thanks to proportionately greater investment in information technology (IT) security. The use of cloud services is associated with lower costs, especially when cyber incidents are relatively small. As cloud providers become systemically important, cloud dependence is likely to increase tail risks. Crypto-related activities, which are largely unregulated, are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.
    Keywords: cyber risk, cloud services, financial institutions, bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, cyber cost, cyber regulation
    JEL: D5 D62 D82 G2 H41
    Date: 2020–05
  7. By: Shunyao Yan; Klaus M. Miller; Bernd Skiera
    Abstract: Many online news publishers finance their websites by displaying ads alongside content. Yet, remarkably little is known about how exposure to such ads impacts users' news consumption. We examine this question using 3.1 million anonymized browsing sessions from 79,856 users on a news website and the quasi-random variation created by ad blocker adoption. We find that seeing ads has a robust negative effect on the quantity and variety of news consumption: Users who adopt ad blockers subsequently consume 20% more news articles corresponding to 10% more categories. The effect persists over time and is largely driven by consumption of "hard" news. The effect is primarily attributable to a learning mechanism, wherein users gain positive experience with the ad-free site; a cognitive mechanism, wherein ads impede processing of content, also plays a role. Our findings open an important discussion on the suitability of advertising as a monetization model for valuable digital content.
    Date: 2020–05
  8. By: Ariel E. Scaliter
    Abstract: La tecnología de Blockchain aplicada a la distribución de ayuda alimentaria para poblaciones vulnerables permite optimizar de manera significativa los costos de logística, la transparencia y la velocidad en que la asistencia llega a los beneficiarios. La descentralización de las compras contribuye a la reactivación de la economía regional y al empleo potenciando las posibilidades de los beneficiarios de la ayuda alimentaria. También constituye una oportunidad única para testear desde el Banco Central las tecnologías que podrían utilizarse para la implementación de una moneda digital soberana (CBDC). Los resultados y conclusiones del presente trabajo aplican a la mayoría de los países en desarrollo y a aquellos con crisis alimentaria a partir de la pandemia del covid-19.
    Keywords: Blockchain, CBDC, Tokens Fungibles, Emergencia Alimentaria, Contratos Inteligentes, Transparencia, Descentralización
    Date: 2020–04
  9. By: Brian McManus; Aviv Nevo; Zachary Nolan; Jonathan W. Williams
    Abstract: We study the trade-offs faced by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that serve as platforms through which consumers access both television and internet services. As online streaming video improves, these providers may respond by attempting to steer consumers away from streaming video toward their own TV services, or by attempting to capture surplus from this improved internet content. We augment the standard mixed bundling model to demonstrate the trade-offs the ISP faces when dealing with streaming video, and we show how these trade-offs change with the pricing options available to the ISP. Next, we use unique household-level panel data and the introduction of usage-based pricing (UBP) in a subset of markets to measure consumers' responses and to evaluate quantitatively the ISP's trade-offs. We find that the introduction of UBP led consumers to upgrade their internet service plans and lower overall internet usage. Our findings suggest that while steering consumers towards TV services is possible, it is likely costly for the ISP and therefore unlikely to be profitable. This is especially true if the ISP can offer rich pricing menus that allow it to capture some of the surplus generated by a better internet service. The results suggest that policies like UBP can increase ISPs' incentive to maintain open access to new internet content.
    JEL: L11 L13 L96
    Date: 2020–05
  10. By: Weber, Enzo
    Abstract: In this publication, the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung and its "Work of the Future" Research Unit present a revised outline of the DSS model by Enzo Weber. DSS (Digital Social Security) solves the problem of severe gaps in the social security of platform workers. The model proposes that platforms all over the world implement a digital mechanism to transfer a certain share of each agreed upon remuneration to the global DSS account of the platform worker. The DSS account collects the globally generated contributions and transfers them on a regular basis to the social security system of the platform worker's home country.
    Keywords: social security,crowdwork,platform,social security system
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Azzellini, Dario; Greer, Ian; Umney, Charles
    Abstract: Online platforms have disrupted parts of the capitalist economy, with allegedly severe consequences in the world of work. This study examines live music in Germany and the UK, where online platforms do not dominate, despite considerable digitalization of market intermediaries. The analysis shows that, as the degree of digitalization increases, matching services tend to work less as a workers' representative – which is traditionally the case for live music agents – and more as a force of marketization that disciplines workers by orchestrating price-based competition
    Keywords: platform economy,creative work,digitalisation,marketization,live music,digitalisation
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Assimakis Kattis; Fabian Trottner
    Abstract: We argue that recent developments in proof-of-work consensus mechanisms can be used in accordance with advancements in formal verification techniques to build a distributed payment protocol that addresses important economic drawbacks from cost efficiency, scalability and adaptablity common to current decentralized record-keeping systems. We enable the protocol to autonomously adjust system throughput according to a feasibly computable statistic - system difficulty. We then provide a formal economic analysis of a decentralized market place for record-keeping that is consistent with our protocol design and show that, when block rewards are zero, the system admits stable, self-regulating levels of transaction fees and wait-times across varying levels of demand. We also provide an analysis of the various technological requirements needed to instantiate such a system in a commercially viable setting, and identify relevant research directions.
    Date: 2020–05
  13. By: Devi Brands (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Joris Klingen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Francis Ostermeijer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We provide novel evidence on the effect of smart phone use on road accidents. We exploit variation in phone usage fees in the Netherlands following a change in European Union (EU) roaming regulations implemented in 2017. The growth rate of mobile data roaming increased substantially after the change, which allows us to estimate a difference-in-differences model where non-Dutch drivers from the EU are treated, while Dutch drivers serve as control group. Our results suggest that around 10% of vehicles involved in accidents can be explained by the use of smart phones, and that these accidents mainly happen on urban roads.
    Keywords: road safety, accident risk, smart phones, urban roads
    JEL: K42 R41 I12
    Date: 2020–05–17
  14. By: Tung, Dao Duy (Tay Do University)
    Abstract: Over the past few years, Vietnam has been on the path of developing Cross Border Electronic Commerce (CBEC). E-business platform enterprise growth is scalabling transactions. CBEC’s economic effects are observed under four aspects as (1) Resource aggregate effect: cost effi-ciency, trading between producers and consumers is realized by E-business platforms; (2) Net-work effect: the positive correlation of platforms’ product or services with the quantity of con-sumers in increasing; (3) Innovation effect: startup costs for innovation (promotions, business models, new-coming products and services) have been recovered with E-business platforms. (4) The value of brand effect.
    Date: 2020–05–06
  15. By: De Groot, Olaf; Dini, Marco; Gligo, Nicolo; Peralta, Leda; Rovira, Sebastián
    Abstract: En el marco de las iniciativas de apoyo a los gobiernos de América Latina y el Caribe para la mejora de las políticas de fomento de las micro, pequeñas y medianas empresas, la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) ha coordinado una acción de apoyo a la cadena de animación digital, en Colombia (específicamente en Manizales), Costa Rica y Panamá. Dicha acción es parte del proyecto EUROMIPYME, financiado por la Unión Europea. La animación digital es parte de la economía creativa, es decir de aquellos sectores económicos que generan productos y servicios caracterizados por un importante contenido cultural. En la región mesoamericana esta industria es incipiente, pero denota características interesantes de innovación y apertura al mercado externo. La iniciativa impulsada por la CEPAL e inspirada en el enfoque de las cadenas de valor, permitió convocar a los actores públicos, privados y académicos que conforman la cadena de animación digital en los tres países y, de forma participativa, hizo posible la definición de metas y prioridades, la formulación de líneas estratégicas y la concreción de acciones para el desarrollo de estos sectores, a nivel nacional y regional. El actual documento describe esta experiencia.
    Date: 2020–05–12
  16. By: Fourberg, Niklas; Korff, Alex
    Abstract: The upgrade of legacy infrastructure is a challenging undertaking in general. The underlying issues are especially prominent for telecommunications networks outside of urban areas. Using German micro-level data, we identify the structural determinants for fiber optics deployment and its extent. We also measure the role of technology competition from the existing infrastructures, VDSL-Vectoring and TV-Cable. In this setting and exploiting a natural experiment, a technologically restrictive policy as proposed by the European Commission is found to be ineffective in promoting fiber deployment. Policy interventions in the form of subsidies targeted at specific local infrastructure projects, however, raise the likelihood of fiber deployment by a substantial margin. A targeted, proactive policy approach is therefore needed to overcome structural and geographical disadvantages.
    Keywords: Fiber expansion,Technology competition,Technology regulation,Subsidies,Regional Infrastructure
    JEL: D22 L52 L86 L96
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Carlos Cantú; Gong Cheng; Sebastian Doerr; Jon Frost; Leonardo Gambacorta
    Abstract: Technology has been harnessed in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, eg to administer remote medical consultations, analyse aggregate movements and track paths of contact. Successful applications are predicated on broad public support. They must address concerns about data privacy, and the potential for misuse of data by governments and companies. Transparent public policies and clear governance frameworks can help to build trust. One possible approach is to differentiate data use during a pandemic and in normal times.
    Date: 2020–05–19
  18. By: Hensvik, Lena (Uppsala University, IFAU, CEPR); Le Barbanchon, Thomas (Bocconi University, CEPR, IGIER, IZA, J-PAL); Rathelot, Roland (University of Warwick, CAGE, CEPR, J-PAL)
    Abstract: This paper measures the job-search responses to the COVID-19 pandemic using realtime data on vacancy postings and ad views on Sweden’s largest online job board. First, the labour demand shock in Sweden is as large as in the US, and affects industries and occupations heterogeneously. Second, the scope and direction of search change. Job seekers respond to the shock by searching less intensively and by redirecting their search towards less severely hit occupations, beyond what changes in labour demand would predict. The redirection of job search changes relative hiring costs, and has the potential to amplify labour demand shifts
    Keywords: coronavirus ; search intensity ; search direction ; labour demand shock ; job vacancies ; online job board ; JEL codes: J22 ; J23 ; J21 ; J62 ; J63 ; J64; E24
    Date: 2020
  19. By: Cabrera, José María; Caffera, Marcelo; Cid, Alejandro
    Abstract: Improper disposition of single-use plastic bags causes significant environmental impacts. Awareness of these detrimental effects has increased, according to the number of policies to reduce the consumption of plastics bags implemented worldwide. Yet, impact evaluations of these initiatives are scarce. This is particularly true for evaluations of the impact of levies on plastic bags. In this paper, we quantify, for the first time, the impact of pricing disposable plastic bags on the quantity used over a one-year time window with respect to a pre-treatment period of no regulation. Specifically, we evaluate the effect of different prices on the number of single-use plastic bags used by customers of a national supermarket chain, before and after it implemented a staggered rollout across the country. Using a difference-in-difference identification strategy, we estimate a sizable drop in the demand of single-use plastic bags in the range of 70% to 85%, compared to the control group of branches that did not price plastic bags. These estimates do not change in magnitude and are statistically robust to (i) different specifications of our basic equation, (ii) the use of synthetic controls as an alternative identification strategy, (iii) the estimation of anticipation effects, and (iv) placebo tests. We do not find evidence consistent with the effect been driven by a loss of sales. Our estimates are consistent with the evidence of large elasticities around zero prices found in other settings.
    Keywords: plastic bags, price, regulation, consumer behavior, difference in difference, synthetic controls, anticipation effects
    JEL: D04 D12 D62 H23 M21 Q53
    Date: 2020–05–05
  20. By: Marco Cipriani; Gabriele La Spada; Reed Orchinik; Aaron Plesset
    Abstract: Over the first three weeks of March, as uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic increased, prime and municipal (muni) money market funds (MMFs) faced large redemption pressures. Similarly to past episodes of industry dislocation, such as the 2008 financial crisis and the 2011 European bank crisis, outflows from prime and muni MMFs were mirrored by large inflows into government MMFs, which have historically been seen by investors as a safe haven in times of crisis. In this post, we describe a liquidity facility established by the Federal Reserve in response to these outflows.
    Keywords: Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF); pandemic; COVID-19
    JEL: G2
    Date: 2020–05–08
  21. By: Nicholas Buchholz; Laura Doval; Jakub Kastl; Filip Matějka; Tobias Salz
    Abstract: We estimate valuations of time using detailed consumer choice data from a large European ride hail platform, where drivers bid on trips and consumers choose between a set of potential rides with different prices and waiting times. We estimate consumer demand as a function of prices and waiting times. While demand is responsive to both, price elasticities are on average four times higher than waiting-time elasticities. We show how these estimates can be mapped into values of time that vary by place, person, and time of day. Regarding variation within a day, the value of time during non-work hours is 16% lower than during work hours. Regarding the spatial dimension, our value of time measures are highly correlated both with real estate prices and urban GPS travel flows. A variance decomposition reveals that most of the substantial heterogeneity in the value of time is explained by individual differences as opposed to place or time of day. In contrast with other studies that focus on long run choices we do not find evidence of spatial sorting. We apply our measures to quantify the opportunity cost of traffic congestion in Prague, which we estimate at $483,000 per day.
    JEL: L0
    Date: 2020–05
  22. By: Battiston, Pietro; Kashyap, Ridhi; Rotondi, Valentina (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: Trust in science and experts is extremely important in times of epidemics to ensure compliance with public health measures. Yet little is known about how this trust evolves while an epidemic is underway. In this paper, we examine the dynamics of trust in science and experts in real-time as the high-impact epidemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19) unfolds in Italy, by drawing on digital trace data from Twitter and survey data collected online via Telegram and Facebook. Both Twitter and Telegram data point to initial increases in reliance on and information-seeking from scientists and health authorities with the diffusion of the disease. Consistent with these increases, using a separately fielded online survey we find that knowledge about health information linked to COVID-19 and support for containment measures was fairly widespread. Trust in science, relative to trust in institutions (e.g. local or national government), emerges as a consistent predictor of both knowledge and containment outcomes. However, over time and as the epidemic peaks, we detect a slowdown and turnaround in reliance and information-seeking from scientists and health authorities, which we interpret as signs of an erosion in trust. This is supported by a novel survey experiment, which finds that those holding incorrect beliefs about COVID-19 give no or lower importance to information about the virus when the source of such information is known to be scientific.
    Date: 2020–05–07
  23. By: Hanna Halaburda (Unknown); Bruno Jullien (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Yaron Yehezkel (Tel Aviv University [Tel Aviv])
    Abstract: We consider dynamic competition among platforms in a market with network externalities. A platform that dominated the market in the previous period becomes "focal" in the current period, in that agents play the equilibrium in which they join the focal platform whenever such equilibrium exists. Yet when faced with higher‐quality competition, can a low‐quality platform remain focal? In the finite‐horizon case, the unique equilibrium is efficient for "patient" platforms; with an infinite time horizon, however, there are multiple equilibria where either the low‐ or high‐quality platform dominates. If qualities are stochastic, the platform with a better average quality wins with a higher probability, even when its realized quality is lower, and this probability increases as platforms become more patient. Hence, social welfare may decline as platforms become more forward looking.
    Date: 2020–03
  24. By: Emir Zunic; Kemal Korjenic; Kerim Hodzic; Dzenana Donko
    Abstract: This paper presents a framework capable of accurately forecasting future sales in the retail industry and classifying the product portfolio according to the expected level of forecasting reliability. The proposed framework, that would be of great use for any company operating in the retail industry, is based on Facebook's Prophet algorithm and backtesting strategy. Real-world sales forecasting benchmark data obtained experimentally in a production environment in one of the biggest retail companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina is used to evaluate the framework and demonstrate its capabilities in a real-world use case scenario.
    Date: 2020–05
  25. By: Meinert, Sascha; Stollt, Michael
    Abstract: Four scenarios describe different, but equally plausible "futures" of digitalisation in the world of work. They bring to light various opportunities and challenges that in future could play more or less important roles for codetermination actors. They offer a frame of reference for assessing current developments and existing strategies for action and for opening up more creative scope for successful codetermination.
    Date: 2020
  26. By: Kaoru Kuramoto (Aoyama-Gakuin University); Yosuke Kurihara (Aoyama-Gakuin University); Satoshi Kumagai (Aoyama-Gakuin University)
    Abstract: In this study, the purchase behavior of customers is analyzed using the purchase history data of convenience stores for one year. Therefore, considering the number of visits to the store, the purchase price, and personal attributes, we use the maximum likelihood method to estimate the customer's selection probability of ?continuation? and ?separation?. AIC is used as a model evaluation index.
    Keywords: Simultaneous purchaseConsumer attributesmaximum likelihood methodlogit modelAIC
    JEL: C23
    Date: 2020–02
  27. By: Michael Bailey; Abhinav Gupta; Sebastian Hillenbrand; Theresa Kuchler; Robert Richmond; Johannes Stroebel
    Abstract: We use anonymized data from Facebook to construct a new measure of the pairwise social connectedness between 180 countries and 332 European regions. We find that two countries trade more with each other when they are more socially connected and when they share social connections with a similar set of other countries. The social connections that determine trade in each product are those between the regions where the product is produced in the exporting country and those where it is used in the importing country. Once we control for social connectedness, the estimated effect of geographic distance on trade declines substantially, and the effect of country borders disappears. Our findings suggest that social connectedness increases trade by reducing information asymmetries and by providing a substitute for both trust and formal mechanisms of contract enforcement. We also present evidence against omitted variables and reverse causality as alternative explanations for the observed relationships between social connectedness and trade flows.
    Keywords: international trade, social connectedness, contract enforcement, information frictions
    JEL: F10 F50 F60
    Date: 2020

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