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Market Access and Information Technology Adoption: Historical Evidence from the Telephone in Bavaria


  • Florian Ploeckl


Information technology, like the telephone, influences market access; this paper answers the question about a reverse effect, does market access affect information technology, in particular its adoption? Using the introduction of the telephone in Bavaria, I demonstrate with a rank, order and stock effects diffusion model how market access affects the diffusion of local telephone exchanges over towns as well as the rate of adoption of telelphone lines within towns. The results of a duration analysis show that market access speeds up the diffusion, a spatial correlation specification demonstrates that this is not just a geographic effect. The rate of adoption within towns is also affected by the adoption of lines in other towns, the results indicate that about 4% of all lines are due to the ability to call outside your local exchange network. Market access is therefore shown to impact the adoption of technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Ploeckl, 2012. "Market Access and Information Technology Adoption: Historical Evidence from the Telephone in Bavaria," Economics Series Working Papers 620, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:620

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm, 2008. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1766-1797, December.
    2. Danielle Galliano & Pascale Roux, 2008. "Organisational motives and spatial effects in Internet adoption and intensity of use: evidence from French industrial firms," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 42(2), pages 425-448, June.
    3. Wallsten, Scott, 2005. "Returning to Victorian Competition, Ownership, and Regulation: An Empirical Study of European Telecommunications at the Turn of the Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 693-722, September.
    4. Florian Ploeckl, 2010. "Borders, market access and urban growth; the case of Saxon towns and the Zollverein," Working Papers 2010/42, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
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    Cited by:

    1. Ploeckl, Florian, 2012. "Endowments and market access; the size of towns in historical perspective: Saxony, 1550–1834," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 607-618.
    2. Florian Ploeckl, 2016. "Uniform Service, Uniform Productivity? Regional Efficiency of the Imperial German Postal, Telegraph, and Telephone Service," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(2), pages 221-243, July.
    3. Richard Pomfret & Markus Lampe & Florian Ploeckl, 2014. "Spanning the Globe: The Rise of Global Communications Systems and the First Globalisation," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 54(3), pages 242-261, November.

    More about this item


    Information technology adoption; Market access; Spatial diffusion; Bavaria; Telephone;

    JEL classification:

    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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    1. Historical Economic Geography


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