nep-pay New Economics Papers
on Payment Systems and Financial Technology
Issue of 2020‒08‒17
34 papers chosen by

  1. All about the state-Fifty years of innovative technology to deliver an inclusive financial sector By Rouse, Marybeth; Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo; Carbo Valverde, Santiago
  2. Germany’s ‘Lex Apple Pay’: Payment Services Regulation Overtakes Competition Enforcement By Jens-Uwe Franck; Dimitrios Linardatos
  3. Attributes needed for Japan's central bank digital currency By Hiroshi FUJIKI
  4. Financial intermediation and technology: What’s old, what’s new? By Boot, Arnoud; Hoffmann, Peter; Laeven, Luc; Ratnovski, Lev
  5. The potential effect of a central bank digital currency on deposit funding in Canada By Alejandro García; Bena Lands; Xuezhi Liu; Joshua Slive
  6. Payment card fraud: global trends and empirical evidence on Internet card fraud in Italy By Guerino Ardizzi; Elisa Bonifacio; Laura Painelli
  7. Winners and losers from COVID-19: Evidence from Google search data for Egypt By Abay, Kibrom A.; Ibrahim, Hosam
  8. CBDC adoption and usage: some insights from field and laboratory experiments By Janet Hua Jiang
  9. Mobile Money and Investment by Women Businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa By Islam,Asif Mohammed; Muzi,Silvia
  10. China’s Digital Economy: Opportunities and Risks By Longmei Zhang; Sally Chen
  11. Enhancing ICT for Insurance in Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
  12. Comportement d'achat online : facteurs explicatifs du montant des achats Une étude exploratoire By Dimitri Laroutis; Philippe Boistel
  13. Automated Market Makers By Mohsen Pourpouneh; Kurt Nielsen; Omri Ross
  14. Capital incentive policies in the age of cloud computing: An empirical case study By Raphaela Andres; Timothy DeStefano; Thomas Niebel; Steffen Viete
  15. 'Information doesn't want to be free': informational shocks with anonymous online platforms By Amedeo Piolatto
  16. OECD case study of Norway’s digital science and innovation policy and governance landscape By OECD
  17. Digital Transformation of Public Service and Administration By Mishra, Mukesh Kumar
  18. Childhood and adolescence in the digital age: A comparative report of the Kids Online surveys on Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay By -
  19. DigComp at Work Implementation Guide By Clara Centeno
  20. AI Watch - Artificial Intelligence in public services: Overview of the use and impact of AI in public services in the EU By Gianluca MISURACA; Colin van Noordt
  21. An empirical study on Internet-based false news stories: experiences, problem awareness, and responsibilities By Gruener, Sven
  22. La regulación del trabajo en las empresas de plataforma virtual de Costa Rica By Godínez Vargas, Alexander
  23. COVID-19 and the Demand for Online Food Shopping Services: Empirical Evidence from Taiwan By Hung-Hao Chang; Chad Meyerhoefer
  24. Consumer Debt and default: A Macro Perspective By Florian Exler; Michéle Tertilt
  25. Network Goods, Price Discrimination, and Two-sided Platforms By Paul Belleflamme; Martin Peitz
  26. Tying in Two-Sided Markets with Below-Cost or Negative Pricing By Jong-Hee Hahn; So Hye Yoon
  27. Destabilizing the Global Monetary System: Germany’s Adoption of the Gold Standard in the Early 1870s By Johannes Wiegand
  28. Measuring Movement and Social Contact with Smartphone Data: A Real-Time Application to COVID-19 By Victor Couture; Jonathan Dingel; Allison Green; Jessie Handbury; Kevin Williams
  29. Las plataformas digitales, la productividad y el empleo en Colombia By Cristina Fernández; Juan Benavides
  30. Role of Media in Delivering the SDGs - A Mapping Exercise on Bangladesh By Debapriya Bhattacharya; Towfiqul Islam Khan; Mostafa Amir Sabbih
  31. Finite blockchain games By Christian Ewerhart
  32. Building digital workforce capacity and skills for data-intensive science By OECD
  33. Towards better understanding of complex machine learning models using Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) - case of Credit Scoring modelling By Marta Kłosok; Marcin Chlebus
  34. Tech Clusters By Kerr, William R.; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric

  1. By: Rouse, Marybeth; Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo; Carbo Valverde, Santiago
    Abstract: This paper documents the long-term nature of technological innovations which have transformed retail finance and addressed financial exclusion. The paper also contributes to the body of literature on the state as an entrepreneur. The roots of financial inclusion are traced back to the 1960s with a discussion of the role played by the state, in contrast to that of the private sector and disruptive innovation. The case of the world-recognised mobile payment service M-Pesa, which has been credited with transforming access to financial services in Africa, is then examined. The empirical results suggest that the state was actively involved in the development and deployment of applications of information and communication technologies which led to M-Pesa. This study provides support for policies that promote mobile banking technology as a means of enhancing financial inclusion. The study also confirms that public-private partnerships, together with an enabling regulatory environment, facilitate technological innovation.
    Keywords: Disruptive technology; financial inclusion; innovation; state as an entrepreneur; Kenya
    JEL: G20 H70 O31
    Date: 2020–07–20
  2. By: Jens-Uwe Franck; Dimitrios Linardatos
    Abstract: As of January 2020, Section 58a of the German Payment Services Supervisory Act (PSSA) provides a right for payment service providers and e-money issuers to access technical infrastructure that contributes to mobile and internet-based payment services. This right of access is intended to promote technological innovation and competition in the consumers’ interests in having a wide choice among payment services, including competing solutions for mobile and internet-based payments. The provision has been dubbed ‘Lex Apple Pay’ as it seems to have been saliently motivated by the objective to give payment service providers the right of direct access to the NFC interfaces of Apple’s mobile devices. In enacting Section 58a PSSA, the German legislature has rushed forwards, overtaking the EU Commission’s ongoing competition investigation into Apple Pay as well as the pending reform of the German Competition Act, which is aimed precisely at operators of technological platforms, which enjoy a gatekeeper position. This article explores the scope of application and the statutory requirements of this right of access as well as available defences and possible legal barriers. We point out that, to restore a level playing field in the internal market, the natural option would be to further harmonize EU payment services regulation, including the availability of a right of access to technical infrastructure for mobile and internet-based payment services and e-money issuers.
    Keywords: ‘Lex Apple Pay’; Technology platforms; Antitrust; Payment Services Regulation; Mobile Payment; Access to NFC interfaces; Wallet Apps; Internal Market Regulation
    JEL: K21 K22
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: Hiroshi FUJIKI
    Abstract: The issuance of central bank digital currency became a real policy issue after the announcement of Facebook's Libra. Which types of product attributes should a central bank digital currency have to be widely accepted? We answer this question by analyzing the consumers' acceptance of hypothetical payment instruments. We used Japanese data from the 2019 Financial Literacy Survey to estimate a model of consumers' ranking of the frequency of the use of five payment instruments. The estimates of the model showed that the respondents to the survey value payment instruments with shorter transaction times and mobile payment instruments. Based on the estimates of the model, we conducted counterfactual simulations for the introduction of the hypothetical mobile version of noncash payment methods that required a shorter transaction time. We found that these hypothetical products would be the most frequently used payment methods on average; however, respondents with old, low-income, and low-financial asset holdings, who were likely to be heavy cash users, would use them less frequently. The results suggest that if the Bank of Japan wanted to issue a central bank digital currency that would be used almost every day as a replacement for cash, policy tools should be utilized to encourage the use of it by these groups as well.
    Date: 2020–07
  4. By: Boot, Arnoud; Hoffmann, Peter; Laeven, Luc; Ratnovski, Lev
    Abstract: We study the effects of technological change on financial intermediation, distinguishing between innovations in information (data collection and processing) and communication (relationships and distribution). Both follow historic trends towards an increased use of hard information and less in-person interaction, which are accelerating rapidly. We point to more recent innovations, such as the combination of data abundance and artificial intelligence, and the rise of digital platforms. We argue that in particular the rise of new communication channels can lead to the vertical and horizontal disintegration of the traditional bank business model. Specialized providers of financial services can chip away activities that do not rely on access to balance sheets, while platforms can interject themselves between banks and customers. We discuss limitations to these challenges, and the resulting policy implications. JEL Classification: G20, G21, E58, O33
    Keywords: communication, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fintech, information
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Alejandro García; Bena Lands; Xuezhi Liu; Joshua Slive
    Abstract: A retail central bank digital currency denominated in Canadian dollars could, in theory, create competition for bank deposit funding. We look at the potential implications increased competition for deposit funding could have on income and liquidity for the six largest Canadian banks, using regulatory data from 2018 and 2019.
    Keywords: Digital currencies and fintech; Financial institutions; Financial stability
    JEL: E4 E41 E44 E5 G1 G10 G17 G2 G21 G3 G32 O
    Date: 2020–07
  6. By: Guerino Ardizzi (Banca d'Italia); Elisa Bonifacio (Banca d'Italia); Laura Painelli (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: The expansion of retail trade at global level, spurred by online transactions (e-commerce), has led the European legislator to strengthen safety//security measures. This paper aims to assess the trend of card fraud in recent years, taking into account the latest regulations. After an extended period of growth, since 2016 the online fraud rate has recorded a decline in Italy and Europe. Empirical analyses of banks’ data carried out in Italy show that the decrease is correlated with successive improvements in anti-fraud measures over recent years. The paper also shows the main anti-fraud measures adopted by intermediaries (e.g. strong authentication and risk mitigation models) as well as protection mechanisms for customers in the event of fraud (e.g. exercise of the right to a refund within one day after filing the request), making it safer to buy online.
    Keywords: Internet, fraud, payment cards, card fraud rate, online transactions, security
    JEL: C22 C23 D12 E21
    Date: 2020–06
  7. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Ibrahim, Hosam
    Abstract: Evolving pieces of evidence show that services are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, both globally and in Egypt. Employing Google search data, we examine the implications of COVID-19 on demand for various services in Egypt. • We find that demand for those services that require face-to-face interaction, including hotels and restaurants, air travel and tourism services, significantly dipped after Egypt detected the first COVID-19 case and more so after the Egyptian government introduced major restrictions and curfews. For instance, in the first two months of the outbreak of the pandemic, February and March, demand for hotel and restaurant services contracted by about 70 percent. • In contrast, demand for services that substitute or reduce personal interactions, such as information and communications technologies (ICT) and delivery services, have enjoyed a significant boost. Demand for ICT services tripled, while demand for delivery services doubled in the four months since the outbreak of the pandemic. • Intuitively, these results suggest that individuals and enterprises operating in these sectors are expected to experience heterogenous impacts and damages associated with the pandemic. Our results, along with other evolving evidence, reinforce that those services and sectors negatively affected by the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 deserve attention. • Finally, our analysis highlights the potential of near real-time "big data" to substitute and complement conventional data sources to estimate economic impacts and, hence, inform immediate and medium-term policy responses.
    Keywords: EGYPT, ARAB COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTHWESTERN ASIA, ASIA, coronavirus, coronavirus disease, Coronavirinae, internet, Information and Communication Technologies (icts), demand, recreation, pandemics, technology, Covid-19, Google searching, Google trends, online search, Google search, lockdown
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Janet Hua Jiang
    Abstract: This note discusses insights from historical launches of new payment methods and related laboratory experiments on the potential adoption and use of a central bank digital currency in the Canadian context.
    Keywords: Central bank research; Digital currencies and fintech
    JEL: C9 E4 E5 E58
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Islam,Asif Mohammed; Muzi,Silvia
    Abstract: This study connects two important findings in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, digital technologies such as mobile money have become widespread and have increased investment by businesses, especially in East Africa. Second, women-owned business in the region significantly lag their male counterparts in capital investments. Using data for 16 Sub-Saharan African economies, the study connects the two findings by exploring whether mobile money use by women-owned firms increases their investment. The findings indicate that the positive relationship between mobile money use and investment is largely driven by women-owned firms and is statistically insignificant for men-owned firms. Potential channels of these effects are explored. Women-owned firms that use mobile money to transact with suppliers are more likely to invest. Mobile money also seems to facilitate greater provision of customer credit and generally greater demand for more credit by women-owned firms. Such patterns are not observed for men-owned firms.
    Keywords: Financial Sector Policy,Gender and Development,Access to Finance,International Trade and Trade Rules
    Date: 2020–07–27
  10. By: Longmei Zhang; Sally Chen
    Abstract: China’s digital economy has expanded rapidly in recent years. While average digitalization of the economy remains lower than in advanced economies, digitalization is already high in certain regions and sectors, in particular e-commerce and fintech, and costal regions. Such transformation has boosted productivity growth, with varying impact on employment across sectors. Going forward, digitalization will continue to reshape the Chinese economy by improving efficiency, softening though not reversing, the downward trend of potential growth as the economy matures. The government should play a vital role in maximizing the benefits of digitalization while minimizing related risks, such as potential labor disruption, privacy infringement, emerging oligopolies, and financial risks.
    Keywords: Asia and Pacific;Supply and demand;National accounts;Unemployment;Labor market policy;Financial services;Digital economy,Fintech,Productivity,Employment,Financial stability,Government Policy and Regulation,Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development,General,digitalization,Tencent,Alibaba,ICT
    Date: 2019–01–17
  11. By: Asongu, Simplice; Odhiambo, Nicholas
    Abstract: This study assesses how enhancing information and communication technology (ICT) affects life insurance and non-life insurance in a panel of forty-eight African countries with data for the period 2004-2014. The adopted ICT dynamics are: mobile phone penetration, internet penetration and fixed broadband subscriptions. The empirical evidence is based on Generalized Method of Moments. The results show that enhancing mobile phone penetration and fixed broadband subscriptions has a positive net effect on life insurance consumption while enhancing fixed broadband subscriptions also has a positive net impact of on non-life insurance penetration.
    Keywords: Insurance; Information technology
    JEL: I28 I30 L96 O16 O55
    Date: 2019–01
  12. By: Dimitri Laroutis (Métis Lab EM Normandie - EM Normandie - École de Management de Normandie); Philippe Boistel (ESC Amiens, Laboratoire CERM)
    Abstract: Despite growing sales in e-commerce of nearly 15% over a year, the amount of purchases per user has been decreasing since 2010, from 90 euros to 65.5 euros in 2017. Our research aims to identify explanatory factors for the variation in the amount of purchases made by Internet users. Through a survey of 231 Internet users and an econome-tric treatment of the data, we were able to identify 7 explanatory factors of the variation of the amount of the online purchases. We also calculated their financial influence from 1 euro for the age factor to 122 euro for the ergonomics factor.
    Abstract: Malgré une croissance des ventes dans le e-commerce de près de 15 % sur un an, le montant des achats par internaute ne cesse de baisser depuis 2010, passant de 90 euros à 65,5 euros en 2017. Nos travaux de recherche visent à identifier les facteurs explicatifs de la variation du montant des achats réalisés par les internautes. À travers une enquête auprès de 231 internautes et un traitement économétrique des données, nous avons pu identifier 7 facteurs explicatifs de la variation du montant des achats online. Nous avons également calculé leur influence financière qui passe de 1 euro pour le facteur âge à 122 euros pour le facteur ergonomie.
    Date: 2020–06–01
  13. By: Mohsen Pourpouneh (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Kurt Nielsen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Omri Ross (eToroX Labs, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: A new type of Automated Market Makers (AMMs) powered by Blockchain technology keep liquidity on-chain and offer transparent price mechanisms. This innovation is a significant step in the direction of building a more transparent and efficient financial market. This paper explores analytically market mechanisms and shows the conditions when those mechanisms are equivalent. Furthermore, we show that AMM mechanisms inherently create loses for market makers from inefficient prices (dictated by the AMM solutions), however, these mechanisms work well for assets with low volatility. We further analytically explore the losses and quantify them. The paper ends by discussing the design of efficient decentralized exchange compared to traditional Central Limited Order Books (CLOBs) and highlights the former’s potential regarding decentralized finance.
    Keywords: blockchain, decentralized exchanges, automated liquidity providers, auction, mechanism design
    JEL: D53 G12
    Date: 2020–07
  14. By: Raphaela Andres (ZEW Mannheim); Timothy DeStefano (Harvard Business School); Thomas Niebel (ZEW Mannheim); Steffen Viete (ZEW Mannheim)
    Abstract: This paper assesses whether current policy environments are appropriate for the emergence of cloud computing technology. In particular, this research uses firm level data for Germany and the United Kingdom to examine the impact of capital incentive programmes (a common policy present in most OECD countries) on cloud adoption. The design for many of these policies target investments in physical capital while excluding digital services like the cloud. Firms view digital investments and digital services as substitutes, therefore narrowly defined incentive programmes may actually discourage the use of emerging tools like cloud computing, which are found to enable the growth and performance of young entrants. Overall, the results find that while capital incentive policies encourage firm investments in ICT and other forms of capital, they actually reduce the probability of cloud adoption. Policy makers may therefore need to reconsider the design of capital incentive programmes within their jurisdictions.
    Date: 2020–08–13
  15. By: Amedeo Piolatto (Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGSE), Barcelona Economics Institute (IEB) and MOVE)
    Abstract: Anonymous information platforms (e.g. Airbnb) provide information about experience goods while keeping agents' identity hidden until the transaction is completed. In doing so, they generate heterogeneity in the information levels across consumers. In this paper, I show that such platforms induce a weak increase of offline prices and that only low-valuation goods are cheaper online than offline. Platforms always lead to an increase in profits. In terms of consumer welfare, the platform equilibrium is Pareto superior for low-and high-valuation goods, while for intermediate ranges some buyers benefit while others lose from the presence of the platform.
    Keywords: Anonymous information platforms, experience goods, mismatch costs, Spokes model, horizontal competition
    JEL: D02 D21 D43 D61 D83 L11 L13 L15
    Date: 2020
  16. By: OECD
    Abstract: This report describes Norway’s landscape for Digital Science and Innovation Policy (DSIP) - the overarching framework through which governments make intensive use of digital technologies and data resources to support the formulation, delivery and administration of STI policy. The report describes how Norway’s DSIP landscape is shaped by its broader digital government framework and agenda, introduces the main actors in the DSIP system and discusses their main features in relation to their key objectives and the generic purposes of DSIP approaches. Special attention is paid to the role of STI statistics. It concludes by drawing out key findings and potential implications to help the Norwegian government identify opportunities that promote the system’s further development in line with its strategic objectives. This study also provides an indication of the potential opportunities and challenges that other countries might face when developing, implementing and maintaining digital systems for STI policy and administration.
    Keywords: digitalisation, innovation, policy governance, science and technology, statistics
    Date: 2020–07–08
  17. By: Mishra, Mukesh Kumar
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a process tracing study of digital transformation in India. As the world embraces the revolution 4.0, emerging technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence, among others, will transform governance efficiency and effectiveness. As the current revolution sweeps, the world and the IoT ride the wave, the reality here is that, governments of the future are destined to be digital by default. We need to prepare for this transformation for the future administration which will be digital. Government have to set for themselves Political Objectives to achieve greater trust in system, including through responsiveness and transparency, and by providing opportunities for greater engagement by service users and citizens in general.
    Keywords: Digital Transformation,Smart Administration
    Date: 2020
  18. By: -
    Abstract: The purpose of this document is to promote deliberation on public policies aimed at children in the digital age. Strategies that allow new generations to fully participate in their societies are vital, and they must leverage opportunities and mitigate risks for children, adolescents and young people. The analysis in this report is primarily based on the results of the Latin America Kids Online Network survey carried out in four countries: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay. This research network is an offshoot of the Global Kids Online network, which was originally developed as a collaborative initiative between the UNICEF Research Office – Innocenti, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the EU Kids Online network in Europe, with the goal of collecting worldwide information on children’s rights, opportunities and risks in the digital age. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) sought to strengthen the efforts of this network in the Latin American region by promoting a comparative analysis and providing a regional perspective. This report was also supported by UNICEF and UNESCO.
    Date: 2020–07–28
  19. By: Clara Centeno (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The Implementation Guide accompanies the "DigComp at Work" report published separately. It aims at supporting labour market intermediaries in their digital skilling actions in employability or employment contexts. It offers specific guidelines, examples, tips and useful resources for the use of DigComp for defining specific job's digital competence needs, for assessing digital competences and for cataloguing, developing and delivering training on digital competences.
    Keywords: digital competences, digital skills, DigComp, employment, employability, skilling, labour market intermediaries, covid-19, up-skilling, skills assessment, training
    Date: 2020–07
  20. By: Gianluca MISURACA (European Commission - JRC); Colin van Noordt (Tallinn Technology University)
    Abstract: This report is published in the context of AI Watch, the European Commission knowledge service to monitor the development, uptake and impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Europe, launched in December 2018 as part of the Coordinated Plan on the Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence Made in Europe. The report presents the results of the findings from the mapping of the use of AI in support of public services in the EU. The analysis serves to contribute landscaping the current state of the art in the field, and provide a preliminary overview of Member States efforts to integrate AI in their government operations and adopt AI-enabled innovations in the public sector. From the analysis it emerges that the interest on the use of AI within governments to support redesigning internal processes and policy-making mechanisms, as well as to improve public services delivery and engagement with citizens is growing. Governments across the EU are exploring the potential of AI use to improve policy design and evaluation, while reorganising the internal management at all governance levels. Indeed, when used in a responsible way, the combination of new, large data sources with advanced machine learning algorithms could radically improve the operating methods of the public sector, paving the way to pro-active public service delivery models and relieving resource constrained organisations from mundane and repetitive tasks.
    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Public Services, Digital Governance, Innovation, Public Sector, European Union
    Date: 2020–07
  21. By: Gruener, Sven
    Abstract: The Internet has significantly reduced the marginal costs of generating and disseminating information. The human information portfolio includes correct and incorrect information. False news stories constitute a challenge for our democracy. Therefore, scientists are increasingly interested in redesigning the information ecosystem. This paper addresses the problem awareness of university students in the realm of false news stories. With the help of a questionnaire, we seek for interesting correlations to generate hypotheses that can be analyzed in further studies with new data (i.e., exploratory study). The hypotheses read as follows: (i) Facebook users are more likely to suspect to be in touch with false news stories if they are interested in politics. People are less likely to assume to deal with false news stories the stronger they trust in others and the more emphasis they put on the opinions of others, (ii) False news stories are perceived as a problem at the societal level but not at the individual level, (iii) Men more often than women believe to be in touch with false news stories; men overestimate their ability to spot false news stories. People who fear false news stories are likely to believe that they could detect such information better than the average, and (iv) People see operators of platforms to be in charge of false news stories; people seem to have less confidence in the government.
    Date: 2020–07–25
  22. By: Godínez Vargas, Alexander
    Abstract: El trabajo intermediado por empresas de plataforma virtual es una realidad tangible en el contexto de la cuarta revolución industrial. Tanto quienes ejecutan tareas en línea como los que participan en servicios geolocalizados están expuestos a precarias condiciones de trabajo que requieren mejoras. La respuesta a esta necesidad constituye un reto para el derecho laboral y las categorías jurídicas que tipifican el trabajo subordinado y el trabajo autónomo. Aún queda mucho por debatir para avanzar en una reconfiguración del concepto de trabajo asociada al reconocimiento de una categoría jurídica que atribuya a cualquier persona —independientemente de la forma en que haya sido contratada— un mínimo de derechos sociales sobre la base de lo que constituye el trabajo decente. El presente documento contribuye a este debate en Costa Rica.
    Date: 2020–07–28
  23. By: Hung-Hao Chang; Chad Meyerhoefer
    Abstract: We investigate how the coronavirus pandemic affected the demand for online food shopping services using data from the largest agri-food e-commerce platform in Taiwan. We find that an additional confirmed case of COVID-19 increased sales by 5.7% and the number of customers by 4.9%. The demand for grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, and frozen foods increased the most, which benefited small farms over agribusinesses. Online food shopping was highly responsive to COVID-19 media coverage and online content. Because Taiwan did not impose a stay-at-home order, the demand for online food shopping may be similar in other countries after they lift mobility restrictions.
    JEL: I10 Q13
    Date: 2020–06
  24. By: Florian Exler; Michéle Tertilt
    Abstract: In this survey, we review the quantitative macroeconomic literature analyzing consumer debt and default. We start by providing an overview of consumer bankruptcy law in the US and document the relevant institutional changes over time. We proceed with a comprehensive empirical section, describing key facts about consumer debt, defaults and delinquencies, as well as charge-off and interest rates for the United States. In addition to the evolution of these variables over time, we construct life-cycle profiles using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances and show that debt and defaults display a clear hump-shaped profile by age. Third, we show how credit card debt has evolved along the income distribution. Finally, we document a large amount of heterogeneity in credit card interest rates across consumers. In the second part of the survey, we describe what has by now become the workhorse model of consumer credit and default. We discuss a quantitative version of the model and use it to decompose the main reasons for default. We also use the model to illustrate how the details of default costs matter. The remainder of the survey then discusses the literature centered around two questions. First, what are the welfare implications of various bankruptcy laws? And second, what caused the rise in filings over time? We end with a discussion of open questions and fruitful avenues for future research.
    Keywords: Consumer Debt, Default, Bankruptcy, Chapter 7, Bankruptcy Law, Delinquency, Credit Cards, Unsecured Debt, Charge-Offs, Interest Rates
    JEL: C60 E20 G20 O30
    Date: 2020–06
  25. By: Paul Belleflamme; Martin Peitz
    Abstract: A monopolist sells a network good to a set of heterogeneous users who all care about total participation. We show that the provider of the network good effectively becomes a two-sided platform if it can condition prices on some user characteristics. This still holds true if the network operator cannot observe consumer characteristics but induces user self-selection when it offers screening contracts. In our setting, all incentive constraints are slack. The use of freemium strategies emerges as a special case of versioning. Here, a base version is offered at zero price and a premium version at a positive price. Overall, the paper illustrates the close link between price discrimination in the presence of a network good and pricing by a two-sided platform.
    Keywords: Network goods, Two-sided markets, Platform pricing, Group pricing, Menu pricing
    JEL: D62 L12 L82 L86
    Date: 2020–06
  26. By: Jong-Hee Hahn (Yonsei Univ); So Hye Yoon (Yonsei Univ)
    Abstract: We show that tying can be profitable in two-sided markets even if below-cost or negative pricing is allowed. With the coexistence of two consumer groups (one treating tying and tied goods as perfect complements and the other as independent products), a tying-good monopolist may face difficulties in extracting rent and wish to use tying to directly capture the large advertising revenue created in the comple- mentary segment. Such tying normally reduces consumer surplus and total welfare. Our theory of tying can be applied to the practice of self-preferencing or requiring pre-installation as in the Google Android and Shopping cases.
    Keywords: Tying, Bundling, Leverage theory, Two-sided markets, Negative prices, Platform envelopment, Self-preferencing, Raising rivals' Â’costs
    JEL: D4 L1 L4
    Date: 2020–08
  27. By: Johannes Wiegand
    Abstract: In 1871-73, newly unified Germany adopted the gold standard, replacing the silver-based currencies that had been prevalent in most German states until then. The reform sparked a series of steps in other countries that ultimately ended global bimetallism, i.e., a near-universal fixed exchange rate system in which (mostly) France stabilized the exchange value between gold and silver currencies. As a result, silver currencies depreciated sharply, and severe deflation ensued in the gold block. Why did Germany switch to gold and set the train of destructive events in motion? Both a review of the contemporaneous debate and statistical evidence suggest that it acted preemptively: the Australian and Californian gold discoveries of around 1850 had greatly increased the global supply of gold. By the mid-1860s, gold threatened to crowd out silver money in France, which would have severed the link between gold and silver currencies. Without reform, Germany would thus have risked exclusion from the fixed exchange rate system that tied together the major industrial economies. Reform required French accommodation, however. Victory in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71 allowed Germany to force accommodation, but only until France settled the war indemnity and regained sovereignty in late 1873. In this situation, switching to gold was superior to adopting bimetallism, as it prevented France from derailing Germany’s reform ex-post.
    Keywords: Currency reform;Fixed exchange rates;Exchange rate regimes;Currency question;Gold;Bimetallism,Gold Standard,France,Germany,Flandreau,specie,silver specie,gold currency
    Date: 2019–02–15
  28. By: Victor Couture; Jonathan Dingel; Allison Green; Jessie Handbury; Kevin Williams
    Abstract: Tracking human activity in real time and at fine spatial scale is particularly valuable during episodes such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we discuss the suitability of smartphone data for quantifying movement and social contact. We show that these data cover broad sections of the US population and exhibit movement patterns similar to conventional survey data. We develop and make publicly available a location exposure index that summarizes county-to-county movements and a device exposure index that quantifies social contact within venues. We use these indices to document how pandemic-induced reductions in activity vary across people and places.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus
    JEL: C80 R10 R40
    Date: 2020–07–09
  29. By: Cristina Fernández; Juan Benavides
    Abstract: "el presente trabajo debe considerarse como una primera aproximación al estudio económico de las plataformas del país. Una segunda fase, que se construya sobre la línea base que crea este estudio, además de poder lograr una mayor cobertura para realizar estimativos más precisos, podrá abordar asuntos vitales para la dinámica económica de país, como: 1) la importancia de tener un sector de la economía más flexible que pueda adaptarse rápidamente a cambios bruscos en las condiciones económicas y servir de amortiguador al resto de sectores; 2) el carácter central que pueden tener las plataformas digitales en el rediseño y la reestructuración de sectores que no son compatibles con las nuevas normas de distanciamiento social que ha impuesto la pandemia; 3) una profundización en las características de una regulación de plataformas que parta de criterios de costo-beneficio para promover los ecosistemas en los que la economía colaborativa y digital puedan desarrollarse, y en particular, un análisis de la posibilidad de crear cajas de arena o “sandboxes” regulatorios."
    Keywords: Plataformas Digitales, Productividad, Empleo, Economía Digital, Economía Colaborativa, Medio Ambiente, Política Pública, Colombia
    JEL: D24 E24 J24 O47 J48 Q51
    Date: 2020–07–15
  30. By: Debapriya Bhattacharya; Towfiqul Islam Khan; Mostafa Amir Sabbih
    Abstract: Among the non-state actors in Bangladesh, media has a critical role to play in ensuring the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The present paper identifies five key roles of media in contributing to the SDGs delivery. These include: channeling information flow, ensuring proper monitoring and accountability, acting as an enabler of a ‘culture of peace’, upholding marginalised voices and facilitating the localisation of SDGs. Based on a mapping exercise on selected national and sub-national Bangla, English and online newspapers, this paper finds that among the five identified roles, the media in Bangladesh at present is primarily playing the role of channeling information flow. Media is also playing a watchdog role in a limited scale, while their participation in the SDGs accountability process is almost non-existent. This paper concludes with highlighting some challenges faced by media in Bangladesh and providing recommendations to address those.
    Keywords: SDGs, Media, Print media, Electronic media, Media in Bangladesh
    Date: 2020–03
  31. By: Christian Ewerhart
    Abstract: This paper studies the dynamic construction of a blockchain by competitive miners. In contrast to the literature, we assume a finite time horizon. It is shown that popular mining strategies such as adherence to conservative mining or to the longest-chain rule constitute pure-strategy Nash equilibria. However, these equilibria are not subgame perfect.
    Keywords: Blockchain, proof-of-work, Nash equilibrium, subgame perfection, selfish mining
    JEL: C72 C73 D72 E42
    Date: 2020–07
  32. By: OECD
    Abstract: This report looks at the human resource requirements for data-intensive science, focusing primarily on research conducted in the public sector, and the related challenges and training needs. Digitalisation is, to some extent, being driven by science, while simultaneously affecting all aspects of scientific practice. Open science, including access to data, is being widely promoted, and investment in cyber-infrastructures and digital platforms is increasing; but inadequate attention has been given to the skills that researchers and research support professionals need to fully exploit these tools. The COVID-19 pandemic, which struck as this report was being finalised, has underscored the critical importance of data-intensive science and the need for strategic approaches to strengthening the digital capacity and skills of the scientific enterprise as a whole. The report includes policy recommendations for various actors and good practice examples to support these recommendations.
    Date: 2020–07–10
  33. By: Marta Kłosok (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Marcin Chlebus (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: recent years many scientific journals have widely explored the topic of machine learning interpretability. It is important as application of Artificial Intelligence is growing rapidly and its excellent performance is of huge potential for many. There is also need for overcoming the barriers faced by analysts implementing intelligent systems. The biggest one relates to the problem of explaining why the model made a certain prediction. This work brings the topic of methods for understanding a black-box from both the global and local perspective. Numerous agnostic methods aimed at interpreting black-box model behavior and predictions generated by these complex structures are analyzed. Among them are: Permutation Feature Importance, Partial Dependence Plot, Individual Conditional Expectation Curve, Accumulated Local Effects, techniques approximating predictions of the black-box for single observations with surrogate models (interpretable white-boxes) and Shapley values framework. Our prospect leads toward the question to what extent presented tools enhance model transparency. All of the frameworks are examined in practice with a credit default data use case. The overview presented prove that each of the method has some limitations, but overall almost all summarized techniques produce reliable explanations and contribute to higher transparency accountability of decision systems.
    Keywords: machine learning, explainable Artificial Intelligence, visualization techniques, model interpretation, variable importance
    JEL: C25
    Date: 2020
  34. By: Kerr, William R.; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric
    Abstract: Tech clusters like Silicon Valley play a central role for modern innovation, business competitiveness, and economic performance. This paper reviews what constitutes a tech cluster, how they function internally, and the degree to which policy makers can purposefully foster them. We describe the growing influence of advanced technologies for businesses outside of traditional tech fields, the strains and backlash that tech clusters are experiencing, and emerging research questions for theory and empirical work.
    Keywords: agglomeration; Clusters; entrepreneurship; Innovation; patents
    Date: 2019–11

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.