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Author:Wang, Zhu 

Working Paper
Internet banking: an exploration in technology diffusion and impact

This paper studies the diffusion and impact of a cost-saving technological innovation?Internet banking. Our theory characterizes the process through which the innovation is adopted sequentially by large and small banks, and how the adoption affects bank size distribution. Applying the theory to an empirical study of Internet banking diffusion among banks across 50 U.S. states, we examine the technological, economic and institutional factors governing the process. The empirical findings allow us to disentangle the interrelationship between Internet banking adoption and change in average bank ...
Working Paper , Paper 13-10

Journal Article
Nonbanks in the payments system: innovation, competition, and risk - a conference summary

From the early days of automated card sorting to the more recent times of the Internet and check imaging, payments and payments processing have continually embraced new technology. At the same time, the industry has been shaped by its share of entry and exit, through startups, mergers, and the reorganization of businesses seeking the proper scope of horizontal and vertical integration. ; These changes have enabled nonbank organizations to play a larger role in the payments system. Nonbanks have followed a number of pathways to more prominence: purchasing bank payment processing subsidiaries, ...
Economic Review , Volume 92 , Issue Q III , Pages 83-106

Working Paper
Two-sided Market, R&D and Payments System Evolution

It takes many years for more efficient electronic payments to be widely used, and the fees that merchants (consumers) pay for using those services are increasing (decreasing) over time. We address these puzzles by studying payments system evolution with a dynamic model in a two-sided market setting. We calibrate the model to the U.S. payment card data, and conduct welfare and policy analysis. Our analysis shows that the market power of electronic payment networks plays important roles in explaining the slow adoption and asymmetric price changes, and the welfare impact of regulations may vary ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-3

Working Paper
Payment Choice and the Future of Currency: Insights from Two Billion Retail Transactions

This paper uses transaction-level data from a large discount chain together with zip-code-level explanatory variables to learn about consumer payment choices across size of transaction, location, and time. With three years of data from thousands of stores across the country, we identify important economic and demographic effects; weekly, monthly, and seasonal cycles in payments, as well as time trends and significant state-level variation that is not accounted for by the explanatory variables. We use the estimated model to forecast how the mix of consumer payments will evolve and to forecast ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-9

Working Paper
Internet banking: an exploration in technology diffusion and impact

This paper studies endogenous diffusion and impact of a cost-saving technological innovation -- Internet Banking. When the innovation is initially introduced, large banks have an advantage to adopt it first and enjoy further growth of size. Over time, as the innovation diffuses into smaller banks, the aggregate bank size distribution increases stochastically towards a new steady state. Applying the theory to a panel study of Internet Banking diffusion across 50 US states, we examine the technological, economic and institutional factors governing the process. The empirical findings allow us to ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 05-05

Working Paper
Spin-offs: theory and evidence from the early U.S. automobile industry

We develop "passive learning" model of firm entry by spin-off : firm employees leave their employer and create a new firm when (a) they learn they are good entrepreneurs (type I spin-offs) or (b) they learn their employer's prospects are bad (type II spin-offs). Our theory predicts a high correlation between spin-offs and parent exit, especially when the parent is a low-productivity firm. This correlation may correspond to two types of causality: spin-off causes firm exit (type I spin-offs) and firm exit causes spin-offs (type II spin-offs). We test and confirm this and other model ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 08-15

Working Paper
Real Estate Commissions and Homebuying

We construct a model of home search and buying in the U.S. housing market and evaluate the commission paid to homebuyers' agents. In the model, as in reality, homebuyers enjoy free house showings without having to pay their agents out of pocket. Buyers' agents receive a commission equal to 3% of the house price only after a home is purchased. We show this compensation structure deviates from cost basis and may lead to elevated home prices, overused agent services, and prolonged home searches. Based on the model, we discuss policy interventions that may improve housing search efficiency and ...
Working Paper , Paper 24-01

Briefing
Real Estate Commissions and Home Search Efficiency

In the U.S. residential housing market, homebuyers' agents typically offer free house showings and collect a commission equal to 3 percent of the price of the home bought by their clients. Our analysis shows that, by deviating from cost basis, this compensation structure may lead to elevated home prices, overused agent services and prolonged home searches. We explain that shifting to a simple a la carte compensation structure may improve home search efficiency and social welfare.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 24 , Issue 08

Briefing
What Two Billion Retail Transactions Reveal about Consumers’ Choice of Payments

Although cash continues to be a major form of payment in retail transactions, data on the use of cash are challenging to obtain. Research at the Richmond Fed has exploited a large dataset of cash, check, credit card, and debit card transactions at a nationwide retail chain to examine consumer payment choice based on transaction size and location, day-of-week and day-of-month cycles, and longer-term trends.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Issue April

Journal Article
Why Do Platforms Use Ad Valorem Fees? Evaluating Two Alternative Explanations

Platforms such as Amazon and Visa intermediate transactions between buyers and sellers. They typically charge ad valorem fees, in which fees depend on transaction values. Given that these platforms do not incur significant costs that vary with transaction value, their use of ad valorem fees poses a great puzzle. In this article, we review recent research on two alternative explanations: double marginalization versus price discrimination. With a generalized framework, we show that the two theories complement each other in explaining this pricing puzzle, and their relative importance is ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 4Q , Pages 153-171

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