Adoption, returns and variation of information and communication technology in Sub-Sahara Africa

Agyire-Tettey, Frank (2015) Adoption, returns and variation of information and communication technology in Sub-Sahara Africa. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Increased competition in the modern economy has driven firms to search for increased efficiency, as well as an increased access to information. This, in conjunction with the continual advancement in information and communication technologies (ICTs), and coupled with falling prices, has inspired firms to adopt different types of ICTs in order to be competitive. This has heightened and provoked research interest in the effectiveness of ICT at the firm level. However, most studies on the use and effectiveness of ICTs in firm development have focused on developed economies, with mainly anecdotal evidence on many developing countries.

Using data collected on 3,996 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across 14 Sub-Saharan African countries, the thesis examines the factors that motivates the adoption, usage and the contribution of ICTs to turnover of firms. The thesis uses a seemingly unrelated bivariate probit model and meta-analysis technique to determine the factor that influence SMEs decision to adopt ICT. We also employ two different production function specifications to ascertain the effect of ICT adoption on turnover of SMEs, as well as on technical efficiency. The effect of ICT on turnover is thoroughly examined also employing quantile regression technique to ascertain the productivity effect of ICT along the entire distribution. The thesis assesses the contribution of ICT adoption to turnover differential among various types of SMEs using a recently proposed decomposition technique.

The factors influencing adoption decisions of firm vary significantly across the countries. Nonetheless, the meta-analysis identifies common determinants of ICT adoption among SMEs in these countries. The findings indicate that the ratio of users of computer and the Internet in an industry and perceived national competition influences adoption decisions of firms. Our findings also indicate that ICT capital have a positive and significant effect on firm’s output, suggesting that there is no ICT productivity paradox among SMEs in Africa. We also find that ICT adoption positively influences technical efficiency of firms. Further, the results show that the contribution of returns to ICT adoption to turnover differential varies considerable across income groupings of countries as well as various types of firms.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Appleton, S.
Bridges, S.
Keywords: Information and communication technologies; Small to medium enterprises; Productivity; Technical efficiency; Stochastic frontier; Quantile decomposition analysis
Subjects: H Social sciences > HC Economic history and conditions
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Economics
Item ID: 29013
Depositing User: Agyire-Tettey, Frank
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2015 10:40
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 18:01

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