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The Decision to Adopt Internet-based E-Commerce : An Empirical Analysis Based on Swiss Firm-level Data

The paper aims at explaining empirically the diffusion of E-commerce based on two largescale sample surveys conducted in the Swiss economy. The paper adds to previous work in two ways: firstly, we estimate separate models for E-selling and E-purchasing, and, secondly, we distinguish between inter-firm diffusion (i.e. technology adoption) and intra-firm diffusion (i.e. intensity of technology use). It turns out that the pattern of explanation strongly differs between the two types of E-commerce as well as the two types of diffusion. Therefore, further studies dealing with the diffusion of E-commerce should differentiate along these two dimensions. Besides, it is shown that institutional, technological and economic uncertainty as well as adjustment costs, which are neglected in most studies of diffusion, are important explanatory variables. Moreover, it turned out that “rank effects” are clearly more important drivers of adoption and intra-firm diffusion of the two types of E-commerce than “epidemic effects”, which are of some importance only in case of adoption.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 04-89.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:04-89
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  7. Bertschek, Irene & Fryges, Helmut, 2002. "The Adoption of Business-to-Business E-Commerce: Empirical Evidence for German Companies," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Link, Albert N. & Kapur, Puneet, 1994. "A note on the diffusion of flexible manufacturing systems technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 357-362, December.
  9. Geroski, Paul A, 1999. "Models of Technology Diffusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Battisti, Giuliana & Stoneman, Paul, 2003. "Inter- and intra-firm effects in the diffusion of new process technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1641-1655, October.
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  13. Baldwin, John R. & Raffiquzzaman, Mohammed, 1998. "The Determinants of the Adoption Lag for Advanced Manufacturing Technologies," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998117e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  14. Colombo, Massimo G & Mosconi, Rocco, 1995. "Complementarity and Cumulative Learning Effects in the Early Diffusion of Multiple Technologies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 13-48, March.
  15. Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Plant Age and Technology Use in US. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 488-499, Autumn.
  16. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  17. Fuentelsaz, Lucio & Gomez, Jaime & Polo, Yolanda, 2003. "Intrafirm diffusion of new technologies: an empirical application," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 533-551, April.
  18. Bart van Ark, 2001. "The Renewal of the Old Economy: An International Comparative Perspective," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2001/5, OECD Publishing.
  19. Spyros Arvanitis & Heinz Hollenstein, 2001. "The Determinants Of The Adoption Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(5), pages 377-414.
  20. Battisti, Giuliana & Stoneman, Paul, 2005. "The intra-firm diffusion of new process technologies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
  21. Garicano, Luis & Kaplan, Steven N, 2001. "The Effects of Business-to-Business E-Commerce on Transaction Costs," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 463-85, December.
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  23. Freund, Caroline L. & Weinhold, Diana, 2004. "The effect of the Internet on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 171-189, January.
  24. Stoneman, P., 1989. "Technological diffusion, vertical product differentiation and quality improvement," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 277-280, December.
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