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Network externalities and technology adoption: lessons from electronic payments

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  • Gautam Gowrisankaran
  • Joanna Stavins
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    Abstract

    We seek to analyze the extent and sources of network externalities for the automated clearinghouse (ACH) electronic payments system using a quarterly panel data set on individual bank adoption and usage of ACH. We provide three methods to identify network externalities using this panel data. The first method identifies network externalities from the clustering of ACH adoption. The second method identifies them by examining whether banks in areas with higher market concentration or larger competitors are more likely to adopt ACH. The third method identifies them by examining whether the ACH adoption by small branches of large banks affects the adoption by local competitors. Using fixed effects and panel data these methods separately identify network externalities from technological advancement, peer-group effects, economies of scale and market power. We find evidence that the network externalities are moderately large.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2002-16.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2002-16

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    Keywords: Electronic funds transfers ; Clearinghouses (Banking);

    References

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    1. Gandal, Neil & Kirkwood MP, Archy & Rob, Rafael, 1999. "The Dynamics of Technological Adoption in Hardware/Software Systems: The Case of Compact Disc Players," CEPR Discussion Papers 2078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Neil Gandal, 1994. "Hedonic Price Indexes for Spreadsheets and an Empirical Test for Network Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 160-170, Spring.
    3. Myron L. Kwast & Martha Starr-McCluer & John D. Wolken, 1997. "Market definition and the analysis of antitrust in banking," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
    5. Garth Saloner & Andrea Shepard, 1995. "Adoption of Technologies with Network Effects: An Empirical Examination of the Adoption of Teller Machines," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 479-501, Autumn.
    6. Shane M. Greenstein, 1993. "Did Installed Base Given an Incumbent Any (Measurable) Advantages in Federal Computer Procurement?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 19-39, Spring.
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    Cited by:
    1. Robert DeYoung & William Hunter & Gregory Udell, 2004. "The Past, Present, and Probable Future for Community Banks," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 85-133, April.
    2. Leibbrandt ,Gottfried, 2004. "Harmonizing Europe’s payment systems: an uphill battle?," Research Memorandum 020, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Marc Rysman, 2003. "Differentiation Across Standards and Adoption Failure in 56K Modems," Working Papers 03-12, NET Institute, revised Dec 2003.

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