The Impact of National Data Networks on Firm Performance and Market Structure
24 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2008
Date Written: 1993
An open data network is one that allows firms to exchange information with outsideentities, and a national data network is one that provides virtually universal access, interconnecting most businesses and private citizens in a country. Establishing a national data network is verycostly and must be justified by its economic, service, and societal impact. France with its Teletelsystem is close to having a national data network, whereas the United States is not. Using data from 619 businesses in France and the United States we examine several claims: 1) opennetworks have improve firms' productivity, efficiency, and quality of service; 2) national opennetworks allow relationships among firms to be based on an electronic marketplace; and 3)national open networks differentially benefit small and medium sized firms. The results show thatfirms using open networks are more efficient and profitable and have more stable relationships with their customers. The natural advantage that large firms have to exploit new technology has been moderated in France, since small and medium-sized firms who used the national network have gained the same advantages as large firms. However, even in France, the use of opennetworks by the general population of firms is still relatively low, thus arguing for a long diffusion constant for the beneficial effects of open networks.
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