Business and Economics > Industries: Information Technololgy

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Gabriela Cugat and Andrea Manera
We construct a novel measure of technology adoption, the Embodied Technology Imports Indicator (ETI), available for 181 countries over the period 1970-2020. The ETI measures the technological intensity of imports of each country by leveraging patent data from PATSTAT and product-level trade data from COMTRADE. We use this index to assess the link between capital flows and the diffusion of new technologies across emerging economies and low-income countries. Through a local projection difference-in-differences approach, we establish that variations in statutory capital flow regulations increase technological intensity by 7-9 percentage points over 5 to 10 years. This increase is accompanied by a significant 28-33 pp rise in the volume of gross capital inflows, driven primarily by foreign direct investment (21 pp increase), and a 9 to 12 percentage points shift in the level of Real GDP per capita in PPP terms.
Larry Q Cui and Jiaxiong Yao
This paper explores the evolution of informality in Greece as it is widely considered one of the major structural impediments to fiscal capacity and sustainable growth. It finds that informality has dropped significantly in Greece in recent years, although there were temporary increases during the sovereign debt crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Lower informality is also found to be associated with higher subsequent per capita GDP growth and higher tax revenue. Moreover, Greece’s significant recent progress in digitalization appears to have helped reduce informality. There remains scope to further reduce informality by accelerating digitalization and the ongoing pro-growth structural reforms.
Yuanchen Yang, Manuk Ghazanchyan, Silvia Granados-Ibarra, and Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza
Despite its negative effects, the COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated Latin America's digitalization. The rapid increase in connectivity and digital services was helpful in mitigating the pandemic's negative impact on the labor markets, especially for those with enough flexibility to continue working from home. The shock has particularly affected women due to their household responsibilities and labor market characteristics. This paper examines how digitalization may have affected gender gaps in employment and job loss related to the COVID-19 crisis. Using a sample of Latin American countries, our findings suggest that higher levels of digitalization are associated with increased female employment and reduced job loss for both men and women. These findings hold even after controlling for factors such as child care, household chores, and the COVID-19 shock. Our results are also robust to various econometric techniques.