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Article

Clem Tisdell

The purpose of this paper is to outline and examine existing economic findings about the effects of information and communication technology on economic productivity…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline and examine existing economic findings about the effects of information and communication technology on economic productivity, welfare and social change.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, existing findings about consequences of ICT for macro-level economic activity and productivity are outlined, and then this is correspondingly done for firms and for industries before a variety of welfare and social consequences of ICT are discussed. The industry-level discussion includes empirical data as well as analytical material.

Findings

Most studies indicate that ICT has significantly added to GDP and has been growth enhancing but these effects vary considerably between economies. The elasticity of aggregate production in relation to investment in ICT has risen with the passage of time. Reasons for this are suggested. The contribution of value added to the output of different industries varies substantially. At the micro-economic level, it is shown how ICT can increase technical and allocative efficiency, and how it can increase consumers’ surplus and producers’ surplus by lowering market transaction costs. Socioeconomic inequalities and concerns arising from the supply of e-commodities are discussed.

Originality/value

Provides a comprehensive but short overview of economic findings about the impact of ICT and brings attention to socioeconomic issues that have been overlooked or downplayed in that discussion. Includes new micro-economic analysis of the distributional impact of ICT and indicates areas requiring social policy intervention.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article

Peter L. Daniels

Aims to assess the potential for a broad “green” technoeconomic paradigm (TEP) to effectively achieve and sustain higher levels of welfare from economic and environmental…

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to assess the potential for a broad “green” technoeconomic paradigm (TEP) to effectively achieve and sustain higher levels of welfare from economic and environmental sources in manylower income countries (LIC). A green TEP comprises a new socioeconomic system based upon a set of inter‐related technologies that increase human welfare, but focus upon saving material, energy and other environmental resources. TEPs have pervasive social and economic effects that include substantial productivity, trade competitiveness, and environmental quality advantages. The desirability of such economic change must incorporate the general approach of social economics and alternative notions of well‐being.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is largely discursive in nature and provides a systematic identification of the LIC conditions that are likely to promote, and benefit from, the pervasive adoption of material‐ and energy‐saving technologies. Some results of an exploratory cross‐country study of the empirical link between technology capability and the human development index (HDI) are utilized in the discussion.

Findings

The paper concludes that a green TEP may well provide a viable alternative development approach in the LICs. The main advantages are derived from related resource efficiency gains and reductions in the socioeconomic metabolism, and the benefits of a relative production factor shift toward labor (and away from materials, energy, and environment‐intensive capital). The potential for LICs is also facilitated by the positive spillovers and decreasing cost of green TEP‐related knowledge and technology diffusion in the expanding, decentralizing global communication network. The higher income nations would need to play a significant role in this process.

Originality/value

Ecological modernisation and material and energy‐saving technologies are widely viewed as essential for achieving long‐term economic and social well‐being improvements in the twenty‐first century and beyond. Discussion of this promising approach typically assumes that this transformation is only viable in the technological and economic context of the higher income nations. However, this paper provides a detailed case for the strategic encouragement and adoption of a green TEP for sustainable economic development and environmental conditions in LICs.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article

Javier Ramos and Paula Ballell

The purpose of this paper is to argue that in spite of the widely optimistic held view on the effect of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in promoting the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue that in spite of the widely optimistic held view on the effect of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in promoting the “knowledge society” in Europe and economic development elsewhere, evidence suggests that ICT's could be strengthening labour duality world wide.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper addresses these issues by presenting a brief assessment of the “Washington Consensus” and the emergence of ICTs in terms of trade, growth and inequality in different regions of our planet. The paper also describes the effects of globalisation and ICTs on European economies. Finally, the paper presents the key finding and raises some policy implications to exploit ICT potentialities to ensure welfare systems in advanced economies and development in emerging countries.

Findings

The lack of sufficient institutional mechanism of distribution in developing economies is not only making it more difficult for economic growth to translate into development but it is also favouring relocations of production, pressures to deregulate employment, control salaries and social expenditure in Europe. This feeds complex processes of social segmentation world wide. To meet this challenge Europe has no choice but to opt for the development of avant‐garde sectors. However, measures linked to the development of the knowledge society may not be sufficient to maintain our welfare states in the current context of globalisation. Europe must play a more internationally active role in the design of another model of globalisation that would encompass social policies at a global scale as one of its pillars.

Originality/value

There are very few studies of ICTs' role in the relationship between openness‐growth‐development‐inequality. What are ICTs responsible for? What are ICTs' effects on development and welfare state sustainability?

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article

Jamilu Abdullahi

Looking at the present Nigeria’s quest to become one of the top 20 economies of the world by the year 2020, the purpose of this paper is to propose that Nigerian public…

Abstract

Purpose

Looking at the present Nigeria’s quest to become one of the top 20 economies of the world by the year 2020, the purpose of this paper is to propose that Nigerian public libraries, as key players in community development, should provide resources and services for the promotion of social welfare sector of the country by introducing relevant key information management and service policies. These strategic policies should include identification of various user groups, deployment of specialized information professionals, provision of adequate financial resources, social welfare information resource development planning, effective information service delivery system, partnership arrangements and adaptation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Design/methodology/approach

Essential to this paper is to take into account the importance and relevancy of policies, strategies and procedures of information management and services to Nigerian public libraries.

Findings

There is continuous rising concerns about the current situation of the country’s socio-economic problems and challenges. However, despite the problem of poor and inadequate ICT facilities in Nigerian public libraries, the ICT infrastructure including the internet will significantly enhance the social welfare information service process in these libraries, if fully adopted. Also very important here is that, the libraries should support community awareness programs on local radio stations or local television channels to compliment the collection of materials in the library.

Originality/value

Nigerian public libraries should be seen as places for all; and participants in community activities must therefore provide relevant data and information to social welfare workers for effective policy/decision making. It is also important that the libraries should help in the identification of areas of welfare that require urgent attention or thorough investigation, examination and analysis.

Details

Library Management, vol. 36 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Silvia Masiero and Amit Prakash

While the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) for poverty reduction is widely recognised, limited knowledge exists on its use in the social…

Abstract

Purpose

While the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) for poverty reduction is widely recognised, limited knowledge exists on its use in the social protection schemes devised for the world’s poor. Drawing on the institutionalist vision of IS development and organisational change put forward by Avgerou (2000), the authors propose that computerisation of these schemes entails two processes, namely, the progressive affirmation of ICT innovation and a shift in the programmes' organisational structure, which moves from a subsidy-based model to one grounded on direct cash transfers. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how the role of ICT in anti-poverty schemes results from concomitance of such processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a study of the public distribution system (PDS), the main food security scheme in India, as it is being computerised in the state of Karnataka. Following an interpretive case study methodology, it investigates the ongoing computerisation of the Karnataka PDS through a combination of back-end and front-end technologies, based on biometric recognition of the programme’s users.

Findings

The data reveal that transformation of the PDS results from the simultaneous processes of institutionalisation of ICT innovation and deinstitutionalisation of the extant state-led subsidy scheme, in favour of a leaner social protection system centred on cash transfers to beneficiaries. This illustrates the point that ICT innovation is intertwined with the decline of an extant social welfare structure and the rise of a new one, based on the direct transfer of benefits.

Originality/value

The paper offers a new theoretical perspective to illuminate the computerisation of anti-poverty programmes, a phenomenon that affects the entitlements of millions of poor people on a global scale. In parallel, it draws practical implications for countries embarking on the digitalisation of their social protection schemes.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article

Azmat Gani and Michael D. Clemes

This paper tests the hypothesis that more information via higher levels of diffusion of ICT: a non‐income influence, leads to an improvement in societal well being using…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper tests the hypothesis that more information via higher levels of diffusion of ICT: a non‐income influence, leads to an improvement in societal well being using data from a large sample of low‐income countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical procedure utilises a pooled cross section time wise autoregressive model to test the effects of information and communications technology (ICT) on economic well being.

Findings

The findings here provide strong support that the diffusion of the new ICT positively contribute to societal economic well being.

Practical implications

The implication of the findings is that low‐income countries, in particular, should quickly move to seize the opportunity to develop their ICT infrastructure given its beneficial welfare effects.

Originality/value

The paper examines the effect of ICT on well being.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 33 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Book part

Lennart Erixon

The new economic-policy regime in Sweden in the 1990s included deregulation, central-bank independence, inflation targets and fiscal rules but also active labour market…

Abstract

The new economic-policy regime in Sweden in the 1990s included deregulation, central-bank independence, inflation targets and fiscal rules but also active labour market policy and voluntary incomes policy. This chapter describes the content, determinants and performance of the new economic policy in Sweden in a comparative, mainly Nordic, perspective. The new economic-policy regime is explained by the deep recession and budget crisis in the early 1990s, new economic ideas and the power of economic experts. In the 1998–2007 period, Sweden displayed relatively low inflation and high productivity growth, but unemployment was high, especially by national standards. The restrictive monetary policy was responsible for the low inflation, and the dynamic (ICT) sector was decisive for the productivity miracle. Furthermore, productivity increases in the ICT sector largely explains why the Central Bank undershot its inflation target in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The new economic-policy regime in Sweden performed well during the global financial crisis. However, as in other OECD countries, the moderate increase in unemployment was largely attributed to labour hoarding. And the rapid recovery of the Baltic countries made it possible for Sweden to avoid a bank crisis.

Details

The Nordic Varieties of Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-778-0

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Book part

Lucio Baccaro

Purpose – Ascertaining the extent to which the generalized decline in union density, as well as the erosion in centralized bargaining structures and developments in other…

Abstract

Purpose – Ascertaining the extent to which the generalized decline in union density, as well as the erosion in centralized bargaining structures and developments in other labor institutions, have contributed to rising within-country inequality.

Methodology – Econometric analysis of a newly developed dataset combining information on industrial relations and labor law, various dimensions of globalization, and controls for demand and supply of skilled labor for 51 Advanced, Central and Eastern European, Latin American, and Asian countries from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, followed by an analysis of 16 advanced countries over a longer time frame (from the late 1970s to the early 2000s).

Findings – In contrast to previous research, which finds labor institutions to be important determinants of more egalitarian wage or income distributions, the chapter finds that trade unionism and collective bargaining are no longer significantly associated with within-country inequality, except in the Central and Eastern European countries. These findings are interpreted as the result of trade unionism operating under more stringent structural constraints than in the past, partly as a result of globalization trends. In addition, despite much talk about welfare state crisis, welfare states, historically the result of labor's power and mobilization capacity, still play an important redistributive role, at least in advanced countries.

Practical implications – Union attempts at equalizing incomes by compressing market earnings seem ineffective and impractical in the current day and age. Unions should seek to increase the workers’ skill levels and promote an egalitarian transformation of the workplace. This type of “supply-side” egalitarianism is not a new strategy for unions, but is very much embedded in the unions’ DNA.

Details

Comparing European Workers Part B: Policies and Institutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-931-9

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Article

Robin Stryker

Introduces a special issue on globalization and the welfare state. Asserts that economic globalization constrains national economic and social policy far more now than…

Abstract

Introduces a special issue on globalization and the welfare state. Asserts that economic globalization constrains national economic and social policy far more now than ever before, although the level of international trade has not increased that much compared to levels at the beginning of this century. Talks about the political consequences of economic globalization, particularly welfare state retrenchment in the advanced capitalist world. Outlines the papers included in this issue – comparing welfare system changes in Sweden, the UK and the USA; urban bias in state policy‐making in Mexico; and the developing of the Israeli welfare state. Concludes that economic globalization has a limited effect in shaping social welfare policy in advanced capitalist countries; nevertheless, recommends further research into which aspects of economic globalization shape social welfare policy.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 18 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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