K.U.Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Applied Economics : Department of Economics
CES - Discussion paper series (DPS) 00.26 pages:1-15
E-business offers buyers and sellers a new form of communication and provides an opportunity to create new marketplaces. Theoretical studies suggest in general that the development of e-business results in higher firm performance as a result of lower search and head-to-head comparison costs. However, there are a number of recent theoretical studies, which demonstrate that the growth of e-commerce may lead to monopolistic pricing behaviour so that firms engaging in e-commerce need not perform better compared to more traditional enterprises. To date, there exists little empirical evidence on the impact of information technology on economic performance. This paper is the first that uses a large representative data set of Belgian firms to study empirically the impact of e-business on corporate performance.
Our main conclusions can be summarised as follows: (1) The penetration of the Internet in Belgian firms is high, however, the use of e-business is still limited. (2) It is especially the large firms that engage in e-business and mostly in e-procurement. (3) E-business has no effect on total factor productivity in small firms, however, we find positive effects on performance of e-business in large firms.