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Market Structure and the Diffusion of E-Commerce: Evidence from the Retail Banking Industry

Author

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  • Jason Allen
  • Robert Clark
  • Jean-François Houde

Abstract

This paper studies the role that market structure plays in affecting the diffusion of electronic banking. Electronic banking (and electronic commerce more generally) reduces the cost of performing many types of transactions for firms. The full benefits for firms from adoption, however, only accrue once consumers begin to perform a significant share of their transactions online. Since there are learning costs to adopting the new technology firms may try to encourage consumers to go online by affecting the relative quality of the online and offline options. Their ability to do so is a function of market structure. In more competitive markets, reducing the relative attractiveness of the offline option involves the risk of losing customers (or potential customers) to competitors, whereas, this is less of a concern for a more dominant firm. We develop a model of branch-service quality choice with switching costs meant to characterize the trade-off banks face when rationalizing their network between technology penetration and business stealing. The model is solved numerically and we show that the incentive to lower branch-service quality and drive consumers into electronic banking is greater in more concentrated markets and for more dominant banks. We find support for the predictions of the model using a panel of household survey data on electronic payment usage as well as branch location data, which we use to construct measures of branch quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2008. "Market Structure and the Diffusion of E-Commerce: Evidence from the Retail Banking Industry," Staff Working Papers 08-32, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-32
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maris Goldmanis & Ali Hortaçsu & Chad Syverson & Önsel Emre, 2010. "E-Commerce and the Market Structure of Retail Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(545), pages 651-682, June.
    2. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Preemption and Rent Equalization in the Adoption of New Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 383-401.
    3. Michael Mazzeo, 2003. "Competition and Service Quality in the U.S. Airline Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 22(4), pages 275-296, June.
    4. Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1981. "Market Structure and the Diffusion of New Technology," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 618-624, Autumn.
    5. Prince, Jeffrey T., 2007. "The beginning of online/retail competition and its origins: An application to personal computers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 139-156, February.
    6. Beggs, Alan W & Klemperer, Paul, 1992. "Multi-period Competition with Switching Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 651-666, May.
    7. Stoneman, Paul & Kwon, Myung-Joong, 1994. "The Diffusion of Multiple Process Technologies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 420-431, March.
    8. Bordo, Michael, 1995. "Regulation and bank stability: Canada and the United States, 1870-1980," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1532, The World Bank.
    9. Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2006. "Internet Retail Demand: Taxes, Geography, and Online-Offline Competition," NBER Working Papers 12242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. DeYoung, Robert & Lang, William W. & Nolle, Daniel L., 2007. "How the Internet affects output and performance at community banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1033-1060, April.
    11. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1209-1238, December.
    12. Jason Allen & Walter Engert, 2007. "Efficiency and Competition in Canadian Banking," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2007(Summer), pages 33-45.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jason Allen & H. Evren Damar & David Martinez-Miera, 2012. "Consumer Bankruptcy and Information," Staff Working Papers 12-18, Bank of Canada.
    2. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2014. "Price Dispersion in Mortgage Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 377-416, September.
    3. Damar, H. Evren & Gropp, Reint & Mordel, Adi, 2013. "Bank's financial distress, lending supply and consumption expenditure," SAFE Working Paper Series 39, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    4. Milliou, Chrysovalantou & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2011. "Timing of technology adoption and product market competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 513-523, September.
    5. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2012. "Price Competition and Concentration in Search and Negotiation Markets: Evidence from Mortgage Lending," Staff Working Papers 12-4, Bank of Canada.
    6. repec:eee:jbfina:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:121-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jason Allen & Darcey McVanel, 2009. "Price Movements in the Canadian Residential Mortgage Market," Staff Working Papers 09-13, Bank of Canada.
    8. Kartashova, Katya & Tomlin, Ben, 2017. "House prices, consumption and the role of non-Mortgage debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 121-134.
    9. Robert Clark & Jason Allen & Jean-Francois Houde, 2010. "Price negotiation in differentiated product markets: An analysis of the market for insured mortgages in Canada," 2010 Meeting Papers 1072, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Gregory McKee & Albert Kagan, 2016. "Determinants of recent structural change for small asset U.S. credit unions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 775-795, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial institutions; Market structure and pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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