nep-pay New Economics Papers
on Payment Systems and Financial Technology
Issue of 2021‒05‒17
twenty-two papers chosen by
Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo
Northumbria University

  1. Payments on Digital Platforms: Resiliency, Interoperability and Welfare By Jonathan Chiu; Russell Wong
  2. Central Bank Money: Liability, Asset, or Equity of the Nation? By Allen, Jason; Bateman, Will; Gleeson, Simon; Kumhof, Michael; Lastra, Rosa M; Omarova, Saule
  3. CBDC: Can central banks succeed in the marketplace for digital monies? By Bofinger, Peter; Haas, Thomas
  4. Mobile technology supply factors and mobile money innovation: Thresholds for complementary policies By Simplice A. Asongu; Nicholas M. Odhiambo
  5. Technology Adoption and Leapfrogging: Racing for Mobile Payments By Pengfei Han; Zhu Wang
  6. Learning to Navigate a New Financial Technology: Evidence from Payroll Accounts By Breza, Emily; Kanz, Martin; Klapper, Leora
  7. Parallel Digital Currencies and Sticky Prices By Uhlig, Harald; Xie, Taojun
  8. Digital Platforms and the New 19a Tool in the German Competition Act By Jens-Uwe Franck; Martin Peitz
  9. Central Bank Digital Currency: When Price and Bank Stability Collide By Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús; Schilling, Linda Marlene; Uhlig, Harald
  10. TARGET2-Securities (T2S) - The Pan-European Platform for the Settlement of Securities in Central Bank Money By Cristina Mastropasqua; Alessandro Intonti; Michael Jennings; Clara Mandolini; Massimo Maniero; Stefano Vespucci
  11. Reconstruction of the Spanish money supply, 1492-1810 By Chen, Yao; Palma, Nuno Pedro G.; Ward, Felix
  12. Exploring the Antecedents of Consumer Confidence through Semantic Network Analysis of Online News By A. Fronzetti Colladon; F. Grippa; B. Guardabascio; F. Ravazzolo
  13. Inside the Regulatory Sandbox: Effects on Fintech Funding By Cornelli, Giulio; Doerr, Sebastian; Gambacorta, Leonardo; Merrouche, Ouarda
  14. Improving Digital Connectivity: Policy Priority for ASEAN Digital Transformation By Lurong Chen; Lydia Ruddy
  15. El interés por la innovación financiera en España. Un análisis con google trends By José Manuel Carbó; Esther Diez García
  16. Wie ist Fintech-Innovation für die Fragilität von Banken in Afrika Südlich der Sahara (ASS) von Bedeutung? By Christian-Lambert Nguena
  17. Confidence is good; too much, not so much: Exploring the effects on reward-based crowdfunding success By Naomi Moy; Ho Fai Chan; Frank Mathmann; Markus Schaffner; Benno Torgler
  18. Emerging Platform Work in the Context of the Regulatory Loophole (The Uber Fiasco in Hungary) By Csaba Mako; Miklos Illessy; Jozsef Pap; Saeed Nosratabadi
  19. Multichannel distribution strategy of Airbnb hosts By Sauveur Giannoni; Daniel Brunstein; Florian Guéniot; Johan Jouve
  20. Search and Price Discrimination Online By Mauring, Eeva
  21. Sharing News Left and Right: The Effects of Policies Targeting Misinformation on Social Media By Daniel Ershov; Juan S. Morales
  22. U.S. Churches' Response to Covid-19: Results from Facebook By Raiber, Eva; Seabright, Paul

  1. By: Jonathan Chiu; Russell Wong
    Abstract: Digital platforms, such as Alibaba and Amazon, operate an online marketplace to facilitate transactions. This paper studies a platform’s business model choice between accepting cash and issuing tokens, as well as the implications for welfare, resiliency, and interoperability. A cash platform free rides on the existing payment infrastructure and profits from collecting transaction fees. A token platform earns seigniorage, albeit bearing the costs of setting up the system and holding reserves to mitigate the cyber risk. Tokens earn consumers a return, insulating transactions from the liquidity costs of using cash, but also expose them to the remaining cyber risk. The platform issues tokens if the interest rate is high, the platform scope is large, and the cyber risk is small. Unbacked floating tokens with zero transaction fees or interest-bearing stablecoins can implement the equilibrium business model, which is not necessarily socially optimal because the platform does not internalize its impacts on off-platform activities. The model explains why Amazon does not issue tokens, but Alipay issues tokens circulatable outside its Alibaba platforms. Regulations such as a minimum reserve requirement can reduce welfare
    Keywords: Digital tokens; Payments; Platforms; Money; Regulation
    JEL: E1 E25 G28
    Date: 2021–02–17
  2. By: Allen, Jason; Bateman, Will; Gleeson, Simon; Kumhof, Michael; Lastra, Rosa M; Omarova, Saule
    Abstract: Based on legal arguments, we advocate a conceptual and normative shift in our understanding of the economic character of central bank money (CBM). The widespread treatment of CBM as a central bank liability goes back to the gold standard, and uses analogies with commercial bank balance sheets. However, CBM is sui generis and legally not comparable to commercial bank money. Furthermore, in modern economies, CBM holders cannot demand repayment of CBM in anything other than CBM. CBM is not an asset of central banks either, and it is not central bank shareholder equity because it does not confer the same ownership rights as regular shareholder equity. Based on comparisons across a number of legal characteristics of financial instruments, we suggest that an appropriate characterization of CBM is as 'social equity' that confers rights of participation in the economy's payment system and thereby its economy. This interpretation is important for macroeconomic policy in light of quantitative easing and potential future issuance of central bank digital currency (CBDC). It suggests that in robust economies with credible monetary institutions, and where demand for CBM is sufficiently and sustainably high, large-scale issuance such as under CBDC is not inflationary, and it does not weaken public sector finances.
    Keywords: Assets; central bank balance sheet; Central bank digital currency; Central bank money; central bank reserves; currency; equity; Government Debt; liabilities; Quantitative easing
    JEL: E41 E42 E44 E51 E52 E58 G21 H61 H63 K0 K11 K12
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Bofinger, Peter; Haas, Thomas
    Abstract: The discussion about central bank digital currencies (CBDC) has gained an impressive momentum. So far, however, the main focus has been on the macroeconomic implications of CBDCs and the narrow perspective of developing a digital substitute for cash. This paper adds a microeconomic dimension of CBDC to the discussion. We provide an overview of the existing payment ecosystem and derive a systemic taxonomy of CBDCs that distinguishes between new payment objects and new payment systems. Using our systemic taxonomy, we are able to categorize different CBDC proposals. In order to discuss and evaluate the different CBDC design options, we develop two criteria: allocative efficiency, i.e. whether a market failure can be diagnosed that justifies a government intervention, and attractiveness for users, i.e. whether CBDC proposals constitute attractive alternatives for users compared to existing payment objects and payment systems. Our analysis shows that there is no justification for digital cash substitutes from the point of view of allocative efficiency and the user perspective. Instead, our analysis opens the perspective for a retail payment system organized or orchestrated by the central bank without a new, independent payment object.
    Keywords: Central bank digital currency; central banks; international payments; Payment systems
    JEL: E42 E44 E52 E58 G21 G28
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaounde, Cameroon); Nicholas M. Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: This study complements the extant literature by assessing how enhancing supply factors of mobile technologies affect mobile money innovations for financial inclusion in developing countries. The mobile money innovation outcome variables are: mobile money accounts, the mobile phone used to send money and the mobile phone used to receive money. The mobile technology supply factors are: unique mobile subscription rate, mobile connectivity performance, mobile connectivity coverage and telecommunications (telecom) sector regulation. The empirical evidence is based on quadratic Tobit regressions and the following findings are established. There are Kuznets or inverted shaped nexuses between three of the four supply factors and mobile money innovations from which thresholds for complementary policies are provided as follows: (i) Unique adults’ mobile subscription rates of 128.500%, 121.500% and 77.750% for mobile money accounts, the mobile used to send money and the mobile used to receive money, respectively; (ii) the average share of the population covered by 2G, 3G and 4G mobile data networks of 61.250% and 51.833% for the mobile used to send money and the mobile used to receive money, respectively; and (iii) a telecom sector regulation index of 0.409, 0.283 and 0.283 for mobile money accounts, the mobile phone used to send money and the mobile phone used to receive money, respectively. Some complementary policies are discussed, because at the attendant thresholds, the engaged supply factors of mobile money technologies become necessary, but not sufficient conditions of mobile money innovations for financial inclusion.
    Keywords: Mobile money; technology diffusion; financial inclusion; inclusive innovation
    JEL: D10 D14 D31 D60 O30
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Pengfei Han; Zhu Wang
    Abstract: Paying with a mobile phone is a cutting-edge innovation transforming the global payments industry. However, some advanced economies like the U.S. are lagging behind in mobile payment adoption. We construct a dynamic model with sequential payment innovations to explain this puzzle, which uncovers how advanced economies' past success in adopting card-payment technology holds them back in the mobile-payment race. Our calibrated model matches the cross-country adoption patterns of card and mobile payments and also explains why advanced and developing countries favor different mobile payment solutions. Based on the model, we conduct several quantitative exercises for welfare and policy analyses.
    Keywords: Technology adoption; Sunk cost; Payment system
    JEL: E4 G2 O3
    Date: 2021–03–01
  6. By: Breza, Emily; Kanz, Martin; Klapper, Leora
    Abstract: How do inexperienced consumers learn to use a new financial technology? We present results from a field experiment that introduced payroll accounts in a population of largely unbanked factory workers in Bangladesh. In the experiment, workers in a treatment group received monthly wage payments into a bank or mobile money account while workers in a control group continued to receive wages in cash, with a subset also receiving an account without automatic wage payments. We find that exposure to payroll accounts leads to increased account use and consumer learning. Those receiving accounts with automatic wage payments learn to use the account without assistance, begin to use a wider set of account features, and learn to avoid illicit fees, which are common in emerging markets for consumer finance. The treatments have real effects, leading to increased savings and improvements in the ability to cope with unanticipated economic shocks. We conduct an additional audit study and find suggestive evidence of market externalities from consumer learning: mobile money agents are less likely to overcharge inexperienced customers in areas with higher levels of payroll account adoption. This suggests potentially important equilibrium effects of introducing accounts at scale.
    Keywords: financial consumer protection; financial inclusion; learning
    JEL: G5 G51 G53 O16
    Date: 2020–12
  7. By: Uhlig, Harald; Xie, Taojun
    Abstract: The recent rise of digital currencies opens the door to their use in parallel alongside official currencies (``dollar'') for pricing and transactions. We construct a simple New Keynesian framework with parallel currencies as pricing units and sticky prices. Relative prices become a state variable. Exchange rate shocks can arise even without other sources of uncertainty. A one-time exchange rate appreciation for a parallel currency leads to persistent redistribution towards the dollar sector and dollar inflation. The share of the non-dollar sector increases when prices in the dollar sector become less sticky and when firms can choose the pricing currency.
    Keywords: currency choice; digital currency; monetary policy; New Keynesian Model; sticky prices
    JEL: E30 E52
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Jens-Uwe Franck; Martin Peitz
    Abstract: In this article we present and critically evaluate the newly introduced section 19a of the German Competition Act. The provision applies to operators of two-sided platforms and networks that the Bundeskartellamt classifies as being of ‘paramount significance for competition across markets’. Using examples of previous abuse cases, we discuss which firms may eventually be the addressees of the new instrument. We analyse the list of prohibitable practices and point to normative uncertainties as regards the assessment of platform activities. We discuss the merits of the abridged judicial review. Finally, we consider the prospect of continuing fragmentation in the legal treatment of digital platforms in the internal market and assess the interaction with the Digital Markets Act as proposed by the European Commission.
    Keywords: competition law, abuse of market power, digital platforms, gatekeeper, Big Tech
    JEL: K21
    Date: 2021–05
  9. By: Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús; Schilling, Linda Marlene; Uhlig, Harald
    Abstract: A central bank digital currency, or CBDC, may provide an attractive alternative to traditional demand deposits held in private banks. When offering CBDC accounts, the central bank needs to confront classic issues of banking: conducting maturity transformation while providing liquidity to private customers who suffer "spending'' shocks. We analyze these issues in a nominal version of a Diamond and Dybvig (1983) model, with an additional and exogenous price stability objective for the central bank. While the central bank can always deliver on its nominal obligations, runs can nonetheless occur, manifesting themselves either as excessive real asset liquidation or as a failure to maintain price stability. We demonstrate an impossibility result that we call the CBDC trilemma: of the three goals of efficiency, financial stability (i.e., absence of runs), and price stability, the central bank can achieve at most two.
    Keywords: bank runs; CBDC trilemma; Central bank digital currency; Financial Intermediation; Inflation targeting; monetary policy
    JEL: E58 G21
    Date: 2020–12
  10. By: Cristina Mastropasqua (Bank of Italy); Alessandro Intonti (Bank of Italy); Michael Jennings (Bank of Italy); Clara Mandolini (Bank of Italy); Massimo Maniero (Bank of Italy); Stefano Vespucci (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The launch of TARGET2-Securities (T2S) in June 2015 marked a fundamental step towards the integration of Europe’s post-trading market. The Eurosystem’s decision in 2008 to build a pan-European platform for the settlement of securities in central bank money stemmed from the objectives and tasks embedded in the ESCB/ECB Statute, to define and implement the monetary policy of the Union and promote the smooth operation of payment systems. T2S also represents a key building block of capital market integration in the EU. The platform was realized by Banque de France, Banca d’Italia, Deutsche Bundesbank, Banco de España (4CB). Its project and operational costs were borne by all Eurosystem central banks; these costs will be entirely recovered through the service charges applied to T2S users. Today T2S is well-established in the landscape of European and global payment infrastructures. In 2020, it hosted the operations of twenty-one CSDs from twenty European markets; it settled over seven hundred thousand transactions per day in central bank money on a stable basis, with peaks of over one million. Its functioning is constantly monitored and subject to regular reporting by the Eurosystem to the market. In addition, it is subject to Eurosystem supervision according to the international principles defined for technological infrastructures of systemic importance. The evolution of T2S is a continuous development process; the next objectives concern the integration with other TARGET Services and the reiforcement of IT security and resilience measures, for which work is in progress. The challenges posed by emerging distributed technologies applied to securities settlement do not appear to constitute an alternative to the extremely advanced features of T2S. The European Commission’s issuance programme, which can be reasonably assumed will have propulsive effects for the European capital market, represents on the other hand an opportunity to enhance T2S network effects, increasing the number and size of settled instruments and the business opportunities for the markets connected to it. This work is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 describes how T2S works. Chapter 2 explains the legal framework and the external governance structure. Chapter 3 focuses on the operations carried out in T2S by the European financial community. Chapter 4 illustrates the tasks carried out by Banca d’Italia. Chapter 5 describes the experiences of three leading Italian operators in T2S since its inception. Chapter 6 provides an account of planning and policy aspects, of the challenges posed by new technologies and of the opportunities to increase the central role of T2S in the European landscape. Creation date: 2021-05
    Keywords: payment systems, market infrastructures,financial markets,economic integration
    JEL: E42 E44 F36
  11. By: Chen, Yao; Palma, Nuno Pedro G.; Ward, Felix
    Abstract: How did the Spanish money supply evolve in the aftermath of the discovery of large amounts of precious metals in Spanish America? We synthesize the available data on the mining of monetary metals and their international flow to estimate the money supply for Spain from 1492 to 1810. Our estimate suggests that the Spanish money supply increased more than ten-fold. This monetary expansion can account for most of the price level rise in early modern Spain. In its absence, Spain would have required substantial deflation to accommodate its early modern output gains.
    Keywords: Early Modern Period; equation of exchange; Quantity Theory of Money
    JEL: E31 E51 N13
    Date: 2020–12
  12. By: A. Fronzetti Colladon; F. Grippa; B. Guardabascio; F. Ravazzolo
    Abstract: This article studies the impact of online news on social and economic consumer perceptions through the application of semantic network analysis. Using almost 1.3 million online articles on Italian media covering a period of four years, we assessed the incremental predictive power of economic-related keywords on the Consumer Confidence Index. We transformed news into networks of co-occurring words and calculated the semantic importance of specific keywords, to see if words appearing in the articles could anticipate consumers' judgements about the economic situation. Results show that economic-related keywords have a stronger predictive power if we consider the current households and national situation, while their predictive power is less significant with regards to expectations about the future. Our indicator of semantic importance offers a complementary approach to estimate consumer confidence, lessening the limitations of traditional survey-based methods.
    Date: 2021–05
  13. By: Cornelli, Giulio; Doerr, Sebastian; Gambacorta, Leonardo; Merrouche, Ouarda
    Abstract: Policymakers around the world are adopting regulatory sandboxes as a tool for spurring innovation in the financial sector while keeping alert to emerging risks. Using unique data for the UK, this paper provides first evidence on the effectiveness of the world's first sandbox in improving fintechs' access to finance. Firms entering the sandbox see a significant increase of 15% in capital raised post-entry, relative to firms that did not enter; and their probability of raising capital increases by 50%. Our results suggest that the sandbox facilitates access to capital through two channels: reduced asymmetric information and reduced regulatory costs or uncertainty. Our results are similar when we exploit the staggered introduction of the sandbox and compare firms in earlier to those in later sandbox cohorts, and when we compare participating firms to a matched set of comparable firms that never enters the sandbox.
    Keywords: Fintech; regulatory sandbox; Startups; venture capital
    JEL: G32 G38 M13 O3
    Date: 2020–11
  14. By: Lurong Chen (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)); Lydia Ruddy (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))
    Abstract: This brief proposes a policy framework for digital connectivity to support the development of e-commerce. Using this analytical framework for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies, the brief suggests improving digital connectivity as a policy priority for ASEAN digital transformation. This calls for a region-wide institutional effort on:(i) digital related infrastructure in both the physical world and cyberspace,(ii) rules and regulations to ensure a dynamic and competitive online marketplace,(iii) connectivity-derived services to generate more value added, and (iv) collaboration on the governance of the digital economy.
    Date: 2020–07–17
  15. By: José Manuel Carbó (Banco de España); Esther Diez García (Banco de España)
    Abstract: En este artículo estudiamos el interés que despiertan distintos conceptos relacionados con la innovación financiera en España. Realizamos nuestro análisis a través de Google Trends, una herramienta que permite analizar la intensidad con la que se consulta un término determinado en el motor de búsqueda de Google. Si bien la herramienta no muestra las búsquedas en términos absolutos, resulta de utilidad para entender las diferencias relativas entre distintos términos y regiones. Los resultados apuntan a que existen diferencias entre Comunidades Autónomas (CCAA), aunque estas varían dependiendo de la categoría de innovación financiera. La diferencia es mucho mayor en los términos relacionados con regulación y las nuevas tecnologías aplicadas a la financiación sostenible, mientras que es casi inexistente en las categorías de criptomonedas y métodos de pago. En cuanto a los factores que pueden explicar estos resultados, identificamos la renta y la edad como posibles determinantes de las diferencias entre CCAA. Estos resultados pueden ser de utilidad de cara a desarrollar programas de educación financiera y orientar mejor los esfuerzos hacia las iniciativas regulatorias en el ámbito digital en las que exista más disparidad en interés y conocimiento.
    Keywords: innovación financiera, empresas fintech, inteligencia artificial, criptomonedas, Google Trends
    JEL: C21 O31 O33
    Date: 2021–04
  16. By: Christian-Lambert Nguena (Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Dschang - Université de Dschang)
    Abstract: Es gibt eine bedeutsame Debatte über die Rolle, die Finanztechnologie-Innovationen (Fintech) für die Fragilität des Bankensektors spielen. Angesichts der Bedeutung finanzieller Solidität, widersprüchlicher theoretischer Vorhersagen und empirischer Belege ist eine eingehende Untersuchung dieses Zusammenhangs erforderlich. Anhand von Daten von 690 Banken in 34 Ländern südlich der Sahara für den Zeitraum 1999-2015 sowie von FGLS, GMM, Panel Threshold Regression und PCA-Ökonometriemethode wird in diesem Artikel der Einfluss von Fintech-Innovationen auf die Fragilität von Banken empirisch untersucht. Hauptsächlich wird die destabilisierende Wirkung von Fintech-Innovationen für unsere Basisuntersuchung bestätigt, später jedoch mit einer stabilisierenden Wirkung nach einem bestimmten Schwellenwert relativiert. Darüber hinaus unterstreichen die Ergebnisse auch, dass das makroökonomische Umfeld für die Erklärung der Fragilität von Banken wichtig ist, und schlugen vor, dass die öffentliche Ordnung einige spezifische destabilisierende Folgen für das Bankensystem berücksichtigen sollte. Außerdem zeigt der simultane Hypothesentest des Nexus der Innovationsagilität, der von einigen relevanten Variablen abhängig ist, dass finanzielle Offenheit eine Rolle spielt, während Investitionen, kommerzielle Offenheit und Geldpolitik dies nicht tun. Schließlich bestätigt die vergleichende Analyse unsere Heterogenitätshypothese; Länder mit einem großen Bankensektor, der von Frankreich und Mitgliedern der Währungsunion kolonialisiert wurde, schneiden in Bezug auf die Solidität der Banken besser ab als die anderen. Diese Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass eine geeignete Fintech-Innovationspolitik auch zwischen denselben Regionen sehr unterschiedlich sein könnte. Finanzielle Instabilität schien auch die Fragilität der Banken zu erhöhen. Dieses Papier trägt zur begrenzten Literatur über Fintech-Innovationen auf Makro- und Mikroebene in Afrika südlich der Sahara bei.
    Abstract: There is a momentous debate on the role played by financial technology (fintech) innovation in the fragility of the banking sector. Considering the importance of financial solidness, contradictory theoretical predictions and empirical evidence, an in-depth re-investigation of this relation is needed. Using data of 690 banks across 34 Sub Saharan African countries for the period 1999-2015 along with FGLS, GMM, Panel Threshold regression and PCA econometric method, this paper empirically examines the influence of fintech innovation on bank fragility. Mainly the destabilizing impact of fintech innovation is confirmed for our baseline investigation but later relativized with a stabilizing impact after a certain threshold. Moreover, the results highlight also that the macroeconomic environment is important in explaining bank fragility and suggested that public policy should take into account some specific destabilizing consequences on the banking system. Besides, the simultaneous hypothesis test of the innovation agility nexus conditional to some relevant variables reveals that financial openness does matter while investment, commercial openness and monetary policy do not. Lastly, the comparative analysis validates our heterogeneity hypothesis; countries with a high size banking sector, colonialized by France and members of monetary union performs better than the others in terms of bank solidness. These results indicate that suitable fintech innovation policy even between the same regions could be rather different. Financial instability appeared also to increase bank fragility. This paper contributes to the limited literature on fintech innovation at both the macro and micro levels in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Fintech innovation,Bank fragility,Threshold regression,Technology transformation
    Date: 2020–04–28
  17. By: Naomi Moy; Ho Fai Chan; Frank Mathmann; Markus Schaffner; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Self-confidence has long been regarded as one of the key qualities in determining entrepreneurial success. In markets with uncertainty, like crowdfunding, entrepreneurial confidence is an important signal that lowers the information imbalance for potential investors. However, current literature on confidence is limited in three ways; first is the limited understanding of confidence in interpersonal interactions; second is the accurate measurement of confidence and thirdly, limited insight on whether an optimal level of confidence exists. We use two novel behavioral approaches to measure self and exhibited confidence and examine their relation to entrepreneurial success in reward-based crowdfunding. Derived from ex-ante information (i.e., before realization of success), our measurements for confidence allow us to draw causal inferences, allowing for contributions to confidence and displays of interpersonal emotion literature. By analyzing over 70,000 Kickstarter projects, we show an optimal level of entrepreneurial confidence exists in determining funding received, popularity, and likelihood of success.
    Keywords: Behavioral; crowdfunding; entrepreneur; exhibiting confidence; interpersonal confidence
    Date: 2021–05
  18. By: Csaba Mako; Miklos Illessy; Jozsef Pap; Saeed Nosratabadi
    Abstract: The study examines the essential features of the so-called platform-based work, which is rapidly evolving into a major, potentially game-changing force in the labor market. From low-skilled, low-paid services (such as passenger transport) to highly skilled and high-paying project-based work (such as the development of artificial intelligence algorithms), a broad range of tasks can be carried out through a variety of digital platforms. Our paper discusses the platform-based content, working conditions, employment status, and advocacy problems. Terminological and methodological problems are dealt with in-depth in the course of the literature review, together with the 'gray areas' of work and employment regulation. To examine some of the complex dynamics of this fast-evolving arena, we focus on the unsuccessful market entry of the digital platform company Uber in Hungary 2016 and the relationship to institutional-regulatory platform-based work standards. Dilemmas relevant to the enforcement of labor law regarding platform-based work are also paid special attention to the study. Employing a digital workforce is a significant challenge not only for labor law regulation but also for stakeholder advocacy.
    Date: 2021–05
  19. By: Sauveur Giannoni (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Daniel Brunstein (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Florian Guéniot (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Johan Jouve (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The literature on the peer-to-peer hospitality market largely assumes that Airbnb hosts are loyal to the platform. However, similar to hoteliers, Airbnb hosts have access to various platforms to diversify their distribution channels. In cases where hosts significantly diversify their distribution channels, they should be considered rather as professional competitors mimicking hoteliers. Proposing an original image-recognition approach to obtain a proxy of the number of platforms used by Airbnb hosts, this paper assesses the probability that a home-sharer practices multichannel distribution. Drawing on a sample of more than 3900 hosts from the region of Corsica in France, we show that a multichannel distribution strategy is commonly adopted. Furthermore, a significant fraction of small hosts uses three or more channels.
    Keywords: Multichannel,Home-sharing,Airbnb,Zero-inflated models,Endogeneity
    Date: 2021–05
  20. By: Mauring, Eeva
    Abstract: I study limited price discrimination based on search costs. "Shoppers" have a zero and "nonshoppers" a positive search cost. A consumer faces a nondiscriminatory "common" price with some probability, or a discriminatory price. In equilibrium, firms mix over the common and the shoppers' discriminatory prices, but set a singleton nonshoppers' discriminatory price. Less likely price discrimination mostly benefits consumers. An individual firm's profit can increase in the number of firms. These results have important implications for regulations that limit price discrimination via reduced tracking (e.g., EU's GDPR, California's CCPA) and for evaluating competition online based on the number of firms.
    Keywords: consumer tracking; cookies; GDPR; Imperfect Competition; Online markets; price discrimination; sequential search
    JEL: D43 D83
    Date: 2021–01
  21. By: Daniel Ershov; Juan S. Morales
    Abstract: We study Facebook’s and Twitter’s policy interventions which aimed to reduce the spread of misinformation during the 2020 US election. Facebook changed its news feed algorithm to reduce the visibility of content, while Twitter changed its user interface, nudging users to be thoughtful about sharing content. Using data on tweets and Facebook posts published by news media outlets, we show both policies significantly reduced news sharing, but the reductions varied heterogeneously by outlets’ factualness and political slant. On Facebook, content sharing fell relatively more for low-factualness outlets. On Twitter, content sharing fell relatively more for left-wing and high-factualness outlets.
    Keywords: social media, news sharing, media slant, fake news, misinformation.
    JEL: D72 L82 L86 O33
    Date: 2021
  22. By: Raiber, Eva; Seabright, Paul
    Abstract: This study investigates U.S. churches' response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic by looking at their public Facebook posts. For religious organizations, in-person gatherings are at the heart of their activities. Yet religious in-person gatherings have been identified as some of the early hot spots of the pandemic, but there has also been controversy over the legitimacy of public restrictions on such gatherings. Our sample contains information on church characteristics and Facebook posts for nearly 4000 churches that posted at least once in 2020. The share of churches that offer an online church activity on a given Sunday more than doubled within two weeks at the beginning of the pandemic (the first half of March 2020) and stayed well above baseline levels. Online church activities are positively correlated with the local pandemic situation at the beginning, but uncorrelated with most state interventions. After the peak of the first wave (mid April), we observe a slight decrease in online activities. We investigate heterogeneity in the church responses and find that church size and worship style explain differences consistent with churches facing different demand and cost structures. Local political voting behavior, on the other hand, explains little of the variation. Descriptive analysis suggests that overall online activities, and the patterns of heterogeneity, remain unchanged through end-November 2020.
    Keywords: Church; Covid-19 pandemic; Facebook; social media
    JEL: H75 I18 Z12
    Date: 2020–12

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