The Use and Economic Impacts of ICT at the Macro-Micro levels in the Arab Gulf Countries
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In this paper we use some primary micro data from the firm survey of Nour (2002b) and some secondary cross countries data to examine four stylised facts on the use and economic impacts of ICT at both macro-micro levels in the Arab Gulf countries. We find that at the macro and micro levels the demand for ICT (measured by the use and spending on ICT) is characterizing by considerable dynamism over time, i.e. shows a dynamic increasing trend across countries, but an opposite decreasing trend across firms. At the macro level the use/demand for ICT shows a normal demand curve decreasing in price and increasing in income (measured by GDP per capita). Our results are consistent with the conventional view on the relationship between demand and income, i.e. a high population access to Internet, telephone and mobile is corresponding to a high GDP per capita. We find that the use of Internet is consistent with the conventional downward sloping demand curve in price, i.e. a fall in the price of Internet service is corresponding to a more population access to Internet. Different from the conventional downward sloping demand curve in price, somewhat surprising the use of telephone show upward sloping demand curve in price, i.e. a rise in the price of telephone service is correlated with a more population use of telephone. At the micro level, total spending on ICT increases in firm size (capital and labour) and industry level. At the macro level, the use of Internet and mobile shows positive significant correlations (complementary relationships) with the use of telephone. At the micro level, the use/total spending on IT (computer) shows positive significant correlations (complementary relationships) with both telecommunication and ICT training. At the micro level, we find positive correlations between the total spending on ICT, output and profit. At the macro level, spending on ICT as percentage to GDP shows a positive significant correlation with GDP- as indicator of economic growth- and a positive insignificant correlation with schooling. Therefore, the total spending on ICT shows positive but somewhat inconclusive economic impacts at both micro and macro levels in the Gulf countries.