The Adoption of Offset Presses in the Daily Newspaper Industry in the United States
This paper shows that the move to offset printing from letterpress in the U.S. daily newspaper publishing industry was determined, in part, by the structure of the local market. Although in monopoly markets, low circulation papers were quicker to adopt than high circulation papers, the ranking was reversed within duopoly markets. In such markets, the smaller firms adopted four years later than the larger one did. This result is partially consistent with preemption models of adoption. Hazard analysis further shows that in markets in which one firm has exited, the remaining duopolist is less likely to adopt than otherwise, consistent with preemption, and at odds with a declining industry explanation. Further analysis shows that the adoption was determined, at least in part, at the firm rather than the newspaper level, although, on the whole, newspaper chains adopted neither earlier nor later than non-chain newspapers. Ceteris paribus, adoption occurred more quickly in non-industrial states.
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