Information Technologies (IT) Adoption and Localized Knowledge Diffusion: an Empirical Study
We use a specially designed survey on French firms located in Haute-Savoie to provide empirical evidence suggesting that IT adoption is not only influenced by the traditional factors of technology diffusion (rank, stock-order, epidemic effects and complementary organizational practices) but also by local diffusion of knowledge effects. The data collected permit us to make several advances. Firstly, we study the adoption of several authentic Information and Communication Technologies while the recent empirical literature has mainly focused on computer capital stocks or automation tools. Secondly, we construct measures to replace the traditional epidemic effect by different proximity variables. Thirdly, we assess the real impact of proximity on the IT adoption process by examining different channels of knowledge transmission among nearby firms, from knowledge spillovers to well-regulated arrangements. Our econometric methodology is designed to deal with potential biases that are encountered when implementing technology adoption equations and testing practice complementarities. In particular, we explicitly deal with the problem of simultaneous technological choices, using bivariate adoption equations.
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