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Incompatibility and investment in ATM networks


  • Timothy H. Hannan
  • Ron Borzekowski


The literature on network industries and network effects notes that incompatibility across rival systems can influence firms' incentives to invest in product changes that are beneficial to the consumer. We investigate this phenomenon in the case of bank ATM networks, where the number of ATM locations serves as the measure of product quality and surcharge fees serve as an index of incompatibility. Using as a natural experiment the lifting of a surcharge ban in Iowa (and not in neighboring states), we find that the associated increase in incompatibility for Iowa banks caused a substantial increase in the number of ATM locations offered to customers. This effect is found to be larger (in percentage terms) for larger banks than for smaller ones.

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  • Timothy H. Hannan & Ron Borzekowski, 2006. "Incompatibility and investment in ATM networks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2006-36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 70-83, Spring.
    2. Timothy H. Hannan & Elizabeth K. Kiser & Robin A. Prager & James J. McAndrews, 2003. "To Surcharge or Not to Surcharge: An Empirical Investigation of ATM Pricing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 990-1002, November.
    3. Knittel Christopher R. & Stango Victor, 2008. "Incompatibility, Product Attributes and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from ATMs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-42, January.
    4. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
    5. Gautam Gowrisankaran & John Krainer, 2004. "The Welfare Consequences of ATM Surcharges: Evidence from a Structural Entry Model," Working Papers 04-16, NET Institute, revised Nov 2004.
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
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    Cited by:

    1. María Fernanda Viecens, 2009. "Compatibility with Firm Dominance," Working Papers 2009-12, FEDEA.
    2. Donze, Jocelyn & Dubec, Isabelle, 2009. "La tarification des retraits aux distributeurs automatiques bancaires, une revue de la littérature
      [ATM withdrawal pricing, a survey of the literature]
      ," MPRA Paper 16546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Hayashi, Fumiko & Wang, Zhu, 2008. "Product innovation and network survival in the U.S. ATM and debit card network industry," Research Working Paper RWP 08-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 01 Jan 2011.

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    Automated tellers ; Banks and banking - Automation;

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