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Network externalities and technology adoption: lessons from electronic payments

  • Gautam Gowrisankaran
  • Joanna Stavins
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    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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    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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    1. William Roberds, 1998. "The impact of fraud on new methods of retail payment," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 42-52.
    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. Neil Gandal & Michael Kende & Rafael Rob, 2000. "The Dynamics of Technological Adoption in Hardware/Software Systems: The Case of Compact Disc Players," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 43-61, Spring.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
    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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.).
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