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The Adoption of Business-to-Business E-Commerce: Empirical Evidence for German Companies

  • Bertschek, Irene
  • Fryges, Helmut

Although in its infancy, one promising application of Internet technology for firms is so-called Internet commerce or electronic commerce. This paper analyses the determinants of B2B (business-to-business) adoption borrowing from the literature on the adoption of new technologies and considering factors like firm size, corporate status, human capital and international competitive situation. An ordered probit model is applied to a data set containing about 3,000 enterprises from the German manufacturing industry and the German services sector in the year 2000. We find positive and significant effects of firm size, the share of highly qualified employees and the export share. An IT-intensive production process enhances the probability of a broad use of B2B e-commerce. An important influence on the use of B2B is the bandwagon effect, implying that firms are more likely to use this new Internet application if others within the same industry likewise do it. We find no significant effects of firm age and of the fact that a firm belongs to a group of companies as measures of a firm?s flexibility and financial power.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 02-05.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:892
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  1. Gruber, H. & Verboven, F.L., 1998. "The Diffusion of Mobile Telecommunications Services in the European Union," Discussion Paper 1998-138, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Luis Garicano & Steven N. Kaplan, 2001. "The Effects of Business-to-Business E-Commerce on Transaction Costs," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 463-485 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  5. Bertschek, Irene, 1995. "Product and Process Innovation as a Response to Increasing Import and Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 341-57, December.
  6. Geroski, Paul A, 1999. "Models of Technology Diffusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Baptista, Rui, 2000. "Do innovations diffuse faster within geographical clusters?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 515-535, April.
  8. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  9. Jensen, Richard, 1982. "Adoption and diffusion of an innovation of uncertain profitability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 182-193, June.
  10. David Lucking-Reiley & Daniel F. Spulber, 2001. "Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 55-68, Winter.
  11. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
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