Recent policy initiatives have identified that the diffusion of innovation constitutes an
important component in technical change and progress and is the impetus behind
changes in firm productivity. To date, however, the main emphasis of economists has
been on the diffusion of process innovations in the industrial sector with diffusion in the
financial sector either ignored or, at best, summarised by a number of stylised facts
relating to the spread of information.
The objective of this thesis is to explore the inter-firm determinants of ATM adoption
and diffusion in the UK financial sector and identify firm-specific and market factors in
the diffusion process. The empirical analysis draws on duration analysis which
represents the current state-of-art modelling approach to inter-firm diffusion. This
approach conceptualises inter-firm diffusion as a cross-section of durations of nonadoption
from which, most importantly, hypothesised factors (or `covariates') can be
examined by their significance or otherwise on the conditional probability of adoption.
The main findings of this thesis support the stylised fact often made in the diffusion
literature that the inter-firm diffusion curve is sigmoid and characterised by a nonmonotonic
hazard function. Furthermore the empirical analysis supports the hypothesis
that firm-specific characteristics and expectations have played a crucial role in the interfirm
diffusion of ATMs. In addition, the results indicate that the diffusion of ATMs in
the UK has been characterised by the existence of positive network externalities. The
results are also shown to be robust across a number of model specifications and
assumptions concerning the time-path of covariates.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.