eBiz Key Reports

eBiz Studies

eBiz Statistics

eBiz Events

Advisory Board


Project Team

Short Cuts

Related actitivies

Glass, cement & ceramics

About this study

(forthcoming – December 2009)

Study objectives

This study will analyse e-business activity and impacts in the glass, cement and ceramic (GCC) industries. Study objectives are to describe how companies in this sector use information and communication technology (ICT) for conducting business, to analyse economic impacts of related developments, and to indicate possible implications for policy.

This CCC industry covers business activities specified in NACE Rev. 2 Division 23 "Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products". This study will focus on Groups 23.1 to 23.6. In 2005, this sector employed about 1.3 million people, comprised about 65,700 enterprises and generated a value added of about 62 billion euros across the EU-27 (Eurostat, 2008). The cement industry was the largest contributor with about 50% of value added and more than 40% of employment. The glass and ceramic industry each employed about 30% of the sector. Structurally, SMEs play an important role in this sector. They account for about two thirds of employment and generate more than half of the value added. This is a higher share than in other energy intensive industries such as the chemical or steel industry.

The study will assess the importance of ICT and e-business for the competitiveness of companies in the CGG sector depending on their business model (micro-level perspective), and analyse the economic impact of ICT on the sector as a whole (industry perspective), notably with regard to productivity growth, industry growth and employment. The main research questions are:

# Current ICT and e-business practices: How do companies in the GCC sector make use of ICT and e-business, and how is their e-business activity linked with different business models? To what extent does e-business enhance certain business models, foster the emergence of new models or lead to the erosion of others?

# Economic impact assessment: What is the economic impact of ICT investment at industry level, and how does this compare with the evidence found at the micro level?

# Sector specific patterns: To what extent Is ICT usage and impact in the sector comparable with other manufacturing sectors already studied by the Sectoral e-Business Watch?

# Policy implications: What are the implications for industrial policy stemming from this evidence?

Study approach

The study aims to take a holistic view on e-business activity and ICT impact in the GCC industry. To achieve this goal, the key methodological concept of the study will be to combine micro-data with macro-data based evidence.

Micro perspective (company level)

Micro-data analysis has the individual company as the main unit of observation. Data for this analysis will be collected by means of a decision-maker survey (CATI method) among 600 enterprises from 6 EU countries and by means of case studies.

Macro perspective (industry level)

Macro-data analysis has the sector as a whole as the main unit of observation. The macro analysis will explore the aggregate economic impact of ICT on value added growth, productivity growth and employment in the CGG industry, based on a sample of eight EU member states (AT, DK, ES, FI, FR, DE, IT, UK), and for the period from 1980 to 2005.  The analysis will be conducted on the basis of EU KLEMS data. The analysis will focus on the following three aspects:

  1. ICT capital and industry growth. To what extent does ICT capital contribute to growth (measured as value added growth) compared  to other input factors?
  2. ICT capital and productivity growth. To what extent does investment in ICT capital  lead to productivity growth, in particular labour productivity and total factor productivity growth?
  3. ICT capital and employment dynamics. In what way are investments in ICT capital  linked with the development of employment in the sector?

Growth accounting and other econometric analysis methods (including correlation and regression analysis) will be used to analyse these issues. Growth accounting is a widely used approach to study the contribution of different factor inputs on overall output growth. Using standard techniques, a decomposition of the real gross value added by different factor inputs is obtained for the countries covered.