ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0035.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Collaborative consumption; Data sharing and reuse; Data recycling; Digital assets; United nations SDGs; Sustainability; Sustainable Development; Sustainable scholarship
Online: 3 July 2020 (12:15:23 CEST)
In order to meet the needs of an increasingly complex research landscape, researchers engage in “collaborative prosumption” through open data sharing and reuse. Although significant gains have been achieved in this regards because of growing requirements from funding agencies, governments and journals, the question of how reuse of openly available data for new research contribute to sustainability is yet to be appropriately addressed in the literature. Therefore, relying on a three stage stratified clustered random sampling of the Journal of Applied Econometrics data archive (JAEDA), the present research provides a case study of the value of research data recycling for sustainable research and economic development. More specifically our analysis show that reformatting from wide to long format, openly shared equity price index data on eleven European countries’ extracted from JAEDA, and augmented with country level geospatial Meta data, provides a new basis for interesting descriptive analytics and spatio-temporal econometric modeling and inference. Given the ever-increasing volume of openly available research data, our study provides a first-hand insight on open data reuse, which should benefit all stakeholders in the research community, as they seek sustainable solutions for scientific productivity and progress.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0042.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: English proficiency, Earnings, Immigrants, MCMC, Medical Care Spending
Online: 2 July 2019 (11:37:52 CEST)
This paper investigates the role of English language proficiency (ELP) as a measure of cultural integration on U.S. immigrant families’ economic integration, as measured by annual earnings, and health care market integration, as captured by annual medical care spending. Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) estimation of a mixed bivariate ordered probit (MBOP) model of annual earnings and medical care spending is conducted using a nationally representative pooled cross-sectional sample data from the U.S. National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). The results reveal that limited English proficiency is associated with lower marginal earnings propensities (-$44.83, -$50.66, and -$56.97), and higher marginal medical care spending propensities ($8.09, $6.09, and $4.32) for each of the three decreasing levels of ELP. Furthermore, we find a small yet statistically significant positive 7.2% correlation between immigrant families’ annual earnings and medical care spending propensities. Therefore investing to raise immigrants’ families ELP in the U.S. would not only contribute to more effective socio-economic integration, but also strengthen the U.S. workforce and economy for decades to come.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0127.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: Clean Energy Production; Nuclear Awareness; Nuclear Electrical Power; Nuclear Optimism; Nuclear Waste; Sustainable Development
Online: 10 May 2019 (14:31:53 CEST)
Relying on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) extract from the cross-national data sample on the environmental affection and cognition of adolescent students, and seemingly unrelated bivariate weighted ordered probit regression modeling, this study adopts a national perspective to investigate the determinants of adolescent students' awareness and expectations about nuclear power technology and nuclear waste in the UAE. Identification of model parameters is achieved through maximum simulated likelihood estimation. The findings show that each level increase in UAE youth's interest in ecosystem services and sustainability raises their awareness of nuclear electrical power and nuclear waste by 13.5%, while reducing by 2.4% their level of optimism towards the technology. Furthermore, we find significant heterogeneity in youth awareness and expectations about nuclear power technology across the seven Emirates. Accounting for all other factors (including interest in ecosystem services), UAE youth awareness about nuclear electrical power technology appears to not significantly influence their expectations about the evolution of this technology for the next 20 years. Given that the UAE first nuclear power plant ``Barakah'' is scheduled to start operations end of 2019 beginning 2020, and the typical long life-span of nuclear wastes, our results provide important insights for developing sustainable nuclear energy policies and establishing a long-term nuclear energy program in the UAE.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0494.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Decision Sciences Keywords: Aordable Care Act, Flexible Spending Accounts, Insurance Coverage, Multiple Service Plans
Online: 29 June 2018 (16:10:38 CEST)
Motivated by the theoretical model of health insurance choice with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) presented in Cardon 2012, this study investigates the determinants of optional coverage (SSP) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) enrollment, among the privately insured in post-affordable-care-act (ACA) USA. To this end, we rely on semi-parametric bi-variate probit methods, along with a pooled cross-section of the 2015-2016 National Health Interview Surveys. As predicted by the theoretical model, we find that SSP and FSA are complement health solutions with a positive correlation. Our results emphasize that the most important trigger factors influencing the joint probability of SSP and FSA adoption include not only insurance premium cost, but also age, education, marital status, number of work hours, region of residency, citizenship status, and annual health expenditure level. We find that controlling for these latter factors, health status is not significant especially for FSA adoption. In addition, despite the fact that the relative frequency of individuals with FSA rises with increasing levels of medical expenditure, ACA restrictions on FSA tax exclusion to an annual adjusted maximum of $2600 (in 2017 $s) seems to adversely burden individuals with greater medical expenditure, thereby reducing their likelihood of FSA enrollment in post-ACA USA. Understanding these factors is very crucial to US health care market's stakeholders, including insurance companies, firms looking to design their health insurance offerings, but also policy-makers interested in providing new tailored health solutions for reducing health risks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0267.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: deforestation; environmental awareness; media consumption; sustainable development; species extinction
Online: 20 April 2018 (12:01:26 CEST)
This study inscribes itself in the global discussion about the issue of environmental awareness, beliefs and behaviors. Here we focus on the role that cultural differences and scientific media dieting play in explaining heterogeneities in students' awareness and expectations about the two environmental issues of deforestation and species (plant and animal) extinction in the Middle East and North America. To this end, we use the cross-sectional survey data of the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, along with seemingly unrelated Bi-variate ordered Probit modeling techniques. The results show that compared to their North American Counterparts, students' in the Middle East are 14.2% less aware of, and 14.5% less optimistic about the issue of deforestation, while 38.9% less aware of, and 59.0% less optimistic about the issue of species extinction. In addition, we found that science club attendance and broad science reading in books are the two most effective communication media for raising students awareness about the two environmental issues. In fact, every one level increase in students' awareness is found to raise their optimism by 20.4% for the issue of deforestation, and 15.0% for the issue of plant and animal extinction. Therefore raising young people environmental awareness and optimism through proper communication strategies, could be invaluable for achieving an economic development in line with our need to preserve the natural environment and ecosystem services for generations to come.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0089.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Affordable Care Act; access to care; co-residence; labor supply; medical expenditure
Online: 12 March 2018 (08:36:46 CET)
This paper investigates the effects of Inter-generational co-residence on health care market, and labor market outcomes, to see whether or not living under the same roof with at least one parent matters in health care market, and labor market behaviors in post-Affordable-Care Act (ACA) USA. The adopted analytical strategy involves not only looking at the gender differences in co-residence, and its effects on outcomes in the two markets, but also accounting for co-residence endogeneity following the recent literature. Unlike the recent literature that relies on instrumental variables methods, this study adopts a switching regression approach, defining inter-generational co-residence as an endogenous selection process using a binary probit equation, and modeled jointly with the extensive margins and intensive margins in the two markets. This novel approach results in a recursive trivariate probit model for each market, and estimated using penalized maximum likelihood methods. The results suggest that ACA by reorganizing the US health care market, seems to have reduced significantly disparities in health care access among males and females based on race, region of residence, place of birth, and citizenship. However not only do we observe significant differences in inter-generational co-residence status between males and females, we also find significant inequalities in the effects of co-residence on health care market, and labor market outcomes. In fact, co-residence is found to increase health care expenditure by 56.7% among females, while this figure increases to 74.2% among males. In addition co-residing individuals, while spending 69.7% more on health care annually are 1.22 times more likely to access health care, but 31% less likely to use health care intensively during the year. In the labor market, co-residence is found to reduce significantly hours of weekly labor supplied by 41% for females, and 55.6% for males. Furthermore co-residing individuals, while not significantly different in their likelihood of labor force participation, are 1.52 times less likely to work full time once they decide to participate, and also spend about 55.4% less time working in the labor market in post-ACA USA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0087.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Human Resources And Organizations Keywords: affordable care act; discrete choice modeling; employer health insurance; ubuntu
Online: 12 March 2018 (07:33:47 CET)
This article takes an approach to explaining the behavioral manifestations of the decision making in US companies’ offer of health insurance that is grounded not only on their cost minimizing behavior, but also in a humanness dimension based on the African concept of Ubuntu. In this way, we define an Ubuntu based Random Utility modeling framework, describing the choice process as a tripartite decision making, and implemented using a nationally representative random sample of 1,061 American companies from the Dunn and Bradstreet Business data, supplied by Survey Sampling International to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The results from the three sequentially implemented specifications showed that the relationship between management culture and health plan offering strategy is dependent on other relevant co-variates, which when left out, leads to the problem of omitted variables bias. However, when all variables are included but assumed to enter the relationship exogenously, this results in management culture not having any statistically significant effect on companies' decisions about scope of health plan offering. When the exogeneity assumption is relaxed through a recursively Bivariate Probit model, the system of two equations produces a highly significant management culture effect. In fact, in this later case we see that companies with groups and formal committee management culture are 1.58 times less likely to choose a multiple plan strategy over a single plan strategy, hence failing to show the more wholesome plan offering that would theoretically prevail under Ubuntu style management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0052.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Burkina Faso, Economic Well-Being, Gender inequality, Literacy status, Sample Selection
Online: 7 March 2018 (09:27:26 CET)
This paper models the factors explaining households members economic well-being in Burkina Faso, with a focus on the relative influence of gender inequality in literacy status. It does so, using data from the 2014 survey on household living conditions and a semi-parametric bi-variate sample selection modeling approach. This approach compared to the classic Heckman two-step estimator is methodologically innovative because it deals simultaneously with non-random sample selection using conventional systems of two equations, non-linear covariates' effects using spline approach, and the non-normal bivariate distribution using copula functions. The graphical results from the Lorenz curves combined with the numerical Atkinson and Gini coefficients suggest that inequality in overall per-capita consumption spending among households headed by literates is higher than that of their illiterate counterparts in 2009 and 2014. However, independently of the head of household’s literacy status, the level of inequality in total economic well-being decreased from 2009 to 2014. Using the poverty indices of Watts, Sen, Foster ( alpha= 1)) we found that poverty among households headed by literates is lower than that of their illiterates counterparts for both years, although overall poverty decreased nationally between 2009 and 2014. The results also show that although the gender inequality in literacy status does not translate into inequalities in non-food wellness, it does however for food-wellness as female headed households have 38.9% less per-capita food consumption spending than their men counterparts. Combining both food and non-food consumption spending, total economic well-being also seems to exhibit gender inequality as female headed households now have relatively 26.7% less combined per-capita consumption spending.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0156.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Burkina Faso; discrete choice; education; food insecurity; monetary poverty
Online: 26 February 2018 (09:09:43 CET)
Given the Income enabling nature of education as stipulated by human capital theory, it can be postulated that “ceteris paribus”, households with formally educated heads experience less food insecurity and monetary poverty than those with uneducated heads. We test this claim in the case of Burkina Faso, using the 2014 National Survey on Households Living Conditions, along with semi-parametric modeling techniques. In its design the study uses households “willingness and ability” to spend annually on food consumption a per-capita amount above the food poverty line of 102,040 CFA Franc to characterize “household food security”, and households “unwillingness or inability” to spend above the overall poverty line of 153,530 CFA Franc to characterize “monetary poverty”. In addition, the study relies not only on single equation multivariate probit and logit specifications, but also on both fully parametric and semi-parametric bivariate probit representations of food insecurity and monetary poverty. The results show that relaxing the linearity and independence assumptions through joint semi-parametric bivariate modeling captures better the true effects of heads of households’ educational attainment on households' food insecurity and monetary poverty. In fact, compared to households headed by someone with no education, those headed by someone with a primary, secondary or higher education are respectively 19.8% , 49.7% and 118.9% less likely to experience food insecurity, and respectively 40.1%, 77.0% and 172.3% less likely to experience monetary poverty in Burkina Faso. In addition, the experience of food insecurity and monetary poverty are highly correlated at 92.7%, suggesting that educational policies that alleviate poverty in Burkina Faso should also impact positively food security in the country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0147.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: access to care; Burkina Faso; generic essential drugs; nursing staff; Trivariate Probit
Online: 23 February 2018 (05:26:19 CET)
This study uses data from the pilot project "Community Monitoring for Better Health and Education Services Delivery Project'' in Burkina Faso, to model the joint impact of generic essential drugs and nursing staff supplies constraints on access to primary health care in the country. The results show that statistical endogeneity of supply side constraints are present in the standard univariate probit specification of access to care. However, when accounted for, the resulting Trivariate Probit model shows that although shortages of generic essential drugs supply do not seem to constitute a significant barrier to access in Burkina Faso, shortages in nursing staff supply do. In fact, the likelihood of primary care access is reduced by 85.5% among those that reported having experienced a shortage in nursing staff, while paradoxically increasing by 60.3% among those that reported having experienced a shortage in generic essential drugs. A potential explanation for these findings is that overall the health care needs in the three surveyed regions in the country were more linked to primary health care services consumption from nurses, although further research would be important to clearly elucidate the position of health goods such as generic essential drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0121.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: Formal Education, Labor Market Participation, Literacy, Poverty, Sustainable Development, Semipametric Trivariate Probit
Online: 19 February 2018 (16:00:35 CET)
This research contributes to the overall debate on education for sustainable development (ESD) by shed- ding lights on the contributing role of formal education to the contemporaneous dynamics of literacy, labor market participation and poverty reduction in Africa, with a focus on Burkina Faso. The study uses a semi-parametric recursive trivariate probit modeling approach, and data from the 2014 National Survey on Household Living Conditions in Burkina Faso. The results show that the embraced systemic approach in this analysis is statistically signicant as shown by the 95% condence intervals on the three correlation coeffcients in the model. Furthermore, education does improve literacy skills, however improved literacy skills in itself does not guaranty active labor market participation in Burkina Faso. Active labor market participation seem to be affected by labor market rates of return, and individual reservation wage (or income). When labor market rate of return is short of high literacy skilled individuals' reservation wage, then the natural response is a choice of inactivity in the labor market, by the later group. Simultaneously however, it is found that active labor market participation leads to poverty reduction; therefore, in addition to new industrial policies for structural transformation of the economy, policy makers in Burkina Faso should consider education and minimum wage reforms to give highly literate household members the incentive to be active in the labor market.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0093.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: consumer behavior; cooking fuel; environmental consciousness; health consciousness; semi-parametric estimation; trivariate probit; water and sanitation; wealth
Online: 13 February 2018 (08:53:03 CET)
Relying on Random Utility Theory (RUT) as the guiding mechanism for the Data Generating Process (DGP), this paper uses households consumption choices on cooking fuel, drinking water, and sanitation from the 2014 United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data on Burkina Faso, to characterize and investigate the inter-linkages between health consciousness and environmental consciousness, and their relationship with wealth in a low income country context. We achieve this by specifying sequentially three econometric modeling frameworks: the first one being independent binary probit (IBP) models to describe each choice process, followed by a fully parametric trivariate probit (FPTP) model to account for choice dependency, and finally by a semi-parametric trivariate probit (SPTP) model to further relax the linearity assumption. Based on the Akaike Information criteria (AIC) and the estimated Trivariate model correlation coefficients, the SPTP framework is found to be the best specification for describing the observed consumption behaviors. The results show that increased wealth level raises households health and environmental consciousness, while leaving the relative preference ordering over the elements in the household consumption basket unchanged.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0445.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: borrowing; economic growth; financial inclusion; saving; UAE; USA
Online: 24 July 2018 (06:13:38 CEST)
This paper highlights the impact of financial inclusion on individuals’ borrowing and saving decisions in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. It does so, using data from the 2014 Global Financial Inclusion database, and an empirical strategy consisting of first testing the significance of the joint bivariate model over its binary conterparts using the Lagrange multiplier test, followed by a contrast between the fully-parametric and semi-parametric specifications of the saving and borrowing equations. Based on model performance measures, the semi-parametric bivariate probit specification is identified as a better framework for describing the two processes of saving and borrowing, with a correlation coefficient of 12.3%. Although no significant difference exists between UAE and US residents in borrowing behavior, we find that US residents are 31.4% more likely to save than their UAE counterparts. In addition, and in line with the Permanent Income Hypothesis, the results reveal the absence of an income based saving or borrowing gradient in the two countries. Conversely, we found the prevalence of a gender based saving (12.4%) and borrowing (13.8%) inequality in favor of the male gender. Furthermore, access to a bank account and a debit card, companies policy of direct wage and salary transfer, and government transfer programs with direct deposit options are all financial inclusion strategies that are found to significantly raise the likelihood of saving and borrowing. As such, companies with payroll practices based on cash or physical paycheck issuing, especially in the US, should revise such policy to create more financial inclusion, and thereby more saving potential which in turn would contribute to further borrowing, investment and growth of the national economy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0113.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: bank reporting; country risk; financial stability; panel data modeling
Online: 15 March 2018 (04:46:05 CET)
This paper relies on accounting-based measures of country risk to investigate U.S. global banks' exposure to foreign country risk over the 2017 fiscal year as measured by the sum of cross-border risk, foreign office risk, and derivative risk claims. We achieve this using panel linear modeling methods with country level heterogeneity and time fixed effects, along with a constructed panel data of 284 observations on 71 countries distributed across 6 world regional blocks, and observed over 4 consecutive quarters starting from 4th quarter 2016 and ending with 3rd quarter 2017. The results show that on average, over the four quarters, a 1% increase in foreign banking sector's claims significantly increases U.S. global banks cross border risk exposure by 0.34%, while reducing derivative risk exposure by 0.22%, but have no significant impact on foreign office risk exposure. Similar results are observed with public sector claims which significantly increase banks' exposure to cross border risk by 0.21%, while reducing derivative risk exposure by 0.19%. Conversely however, non-bank financial sector claims are found to have no significant affect on cross-border risk exposure, but significantly reduce foreign office risk exposure by 0.09%, while increasing derivative risk exposure by 0.06%. These results indicate the presence of sectoral heterogeneities in U.S. banks' exposure to foreign counterparties' risk, and also that overall, over the course of 2017 the level of U.S. global banks' cross-border risk exposure increased, while their level of derivative risk exposure decreased, and the level of foreign office risk exposure remained relatively unchanged.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0143.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: expectations convergence; NAFTA; sustainable development; technological transfer; youth awareness
Online: 13 May 2019 (08:01:33 CEST)
Relying on the USA, Canada and Mexico extract from the cross-national data sample on the environmental affection and cognition of adolescent students (Niankara, 2019), along with seemingly unrelated bivariate weighted ordered probit regression modeling (Niankara and Zoungrana, 2018), this study reports on the convergence of technological awareness and expectations within the context of international trade. We achieve this by adopting a regional perspective in investigating the effects of affective, cognitive and situational factors on youth's awareness and expectations about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and nuclear power technology (NPT) within the North American free trade block. Identification of model parameters is achieved using maximum simulated likelihood methods. The findings show that although it has been over 20 years as of 2015 that USA, Canada, and Mexico ratified the north American free trade agreement (NAFTA), the diffusion of technology and information within the trade block has not succeeded in homogenizing awareness and expectations about GMOs and Nuclear power technology, as observed in the youth population across the three countries. Indeed, with regards to technological awareness, compared to youth from the USA, those from Canada show 15% (GMOs) and 7.1% (NPT) more awareness respectively; while those in Mexico are respectively 34.4% and 19.5% less aware about GMOs and NPT. With respect to technological expectations, compared to youth from the USA, those from Canada and Mexico are respectively 34.4% and 39.9% more optimistic about GMOs, while 15% and 49.7% more optimistic about NPT. Overall, youth within NAFTA country members are respectively 2.5% and 6.7% more optimistic about GMOs and NPT for every level increase in their awareness about the two technologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0044.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: air pollution; environmental awareness; environmental education; green gas emission; sustainable development; water shortage
Online: 4 June 2018 (13:01:55 CEST)
This study inscribes itself in the global discussion on the nurturing of pro-environmental behaviors among young people for a sustainable future. Here we focus on students' interest in Ecosystem Services and Sustainability to explain their awareness and optimism about the environmental issues of air pollution, water shortage and green gas emission in 50 countries around the world. To this end, we use the cross-sectional survey data of the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, along with seemingly unrelated bi-variate weighted ordered Probit modeling with country specific effects. The results show that in addition to factors such as age, gender, immigration status, and economic, social and cultural status, interest in the biosphere is a significant determinant of students' environmental awareness and optimism. In fact, a one level increase in students' interest in ecosystem services and sustainability raises on average their awareness level by 15.3% for the issue of air pollution, 15.7% for the issue of water shortage, and 24.6% for the issue of green gas emission. Although students' interest in the biosphere seems to not have a significant effect on their expectations about the issue of green gas emission, it does however raise their level of optimism by 0.8% for the issue of air pollution, and 0.2% for the issue of water shortage. Furthermore, every one level increase in students' environmental awareness leads to 17.3% more optimism about the issue of air pollution, 15.8% more optimism about the issue of water shortage, and 17.4% more optimism about the issue of green gas emission. Therefore, relying on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), our results imply that governments and policy makers can successfully leverage young people interests in the biosphere to effectively achieve their goals for sustainability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0150.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Bayesian methods; digital media; ecosystem services; Sustainable development; youth health
Online: 13 May 2019 (10:03:54 CEST)
Along with the advantages associated with access to information and fast communication, screen time from increased digital media consumption has recently been associated with adverse effects on youth well-being. To get a clearer picture of its value for global youth based sustainability initiatives, this study investigates the effects of increased digital media consumption on youth's interests in ecosystem services, sustainability and science as a means for disease prevention. We achieve this, using data on 187821 adolescent students from 50 countries worldwide. Methodologically, we rely on a mixed bivariate ordered probit representation of youth's joint interest in the biosphere (ecosystem services and sustainability) and science as a means for disease prevention, which we then estimate using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) Methods. We found that each level increase in adolescent students' reported frequency of news blogs visits and web browsing on broad science adversely affect their interests in ecosystem services, sustainability and science as a means for disease prevention. Although each level increase in youth's frequency of ecological website visits also reduces by 20% (with 95% CI [-0.36; -0.32]) their interests in the biosphere, it is found to increase however by 3% (with 95% CI [0.02; 0.05]) their interest science as a means for disease prevention. Overall, our results highlight heterogeneous effects of digital media consumption on adolescents' well-being in terms of their interests in ecosystem services, sustainability, and science as a means for disease prevention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0008.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: Copula Regression; ICT resources; Middle East; Spatial Analysis; Students Well-being; Sustainable Development Goals
Online: 2 July 2020 (13:18:03 CEST)
Target 9.c of the 2015 United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs) specifically addresses increasing access to information and communication technology (ICT) resources, and striving for universal access to the internet by 2020. The present study seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the youth related national strategies implemented in this regard by a select number of countries in the Middle East region. The study does so, by relying on a spatial bivariate copula regression analysis of data on youth respondents from five countries, extracted from the 2018 Program for international students’ assessment (PISA). Focusing specifically on evaluating the availability of ICT resources to the youth population, and also identifying the impact of ICT resources on youth subjective well-being in the region, we find that except for the UAE and Qatar that have above OECD average youth performance on the ICT resource index, youth from the remaining countries reported below OECD level average access to ICT resources. The within region cross-country comparative analysis of ICT resources availability to the youth population at home, also highlighted significant heterogeneity across the five countries, post 2015 SDG adoption by UN country members. Furthermore, looking at the impact of ICT resources on youth well-being, controlling for not only cross-country spatial correlations, and factors such as home educational resources, cultural possessions at home, parental occupation status, youth expected occupation status, economic and socio-cultural status, age, gender, and grade level in school; we found that every standard deviation increase in ICT resources to the youth population in the region raises their self-expressed sense of belonging in school by 1.88% standard deviations. Given the empowering nature of ICT resources to youth, and the potential of both to support national as well as regional economic development initiatives, a concerted effort to ease ICT resources diffusion by member countries in the middle east region could assist not only each country in its own development path, but also the region as a whole to live up to its growth potential by the 2030.