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Standard Setting Committees: Consensus Governance for Shared Technology Platforms

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  • Timothy Simcoe
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    Abstract

    Voluntary Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) use a consensus process to create new compatibility standards. Practitioners have suggested that SSOs are increasingly politicized and perhaps incapable of producing timely standards. This article develops a simple model of standard setting committees and tests its predictions using data from the Internet Engineering Task Force, an SSO that produces many of the standards used to run the Internet. The results show that an observed slowdown in standards production between 1993 and 2003 can be linked to distributional conflicts created by the rapid commercialization of the Internet. (JEL C78, L15, L86)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 305-36

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:1:p:305-36

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    1. Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991. "Bargaining with Private Information," Working Papers 90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
    2. Chiao, Benjamin & Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "The Rules of Standard Setting Organizations: An Empirical Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6141, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. David P. Myatt, 2005. "Instant Exit from the Asymmetric War of Attrition," Economics Series Working Papers 160, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Benjamin F. Jones, 2008. "The Knowledge Trap: Human Capital and Development Reconsidered," NBER Working Papers 14138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Marc Rysman & Timothy Simcoe, 2008. "Patents and the Performance of Voluntary Standard-Setting Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(11), pages 1920-1934, November.
    6. Edward Vytlacil, 2002. "Independence, Monotonicity, and Latent Index Models: An Equivalence Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 331-341, January.
    7. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Kevin Boudreau, 2010. "Open Platform Strategies and Innovation: Granting Access vs. Devolving Control," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1849-1872, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Henry Delcamp & Aija Leiponen, 2012. "Innovating Standards through Informal Consortia: The Case of Wireless Telecommunications," NBER Chapters, in: Standards, Patents and Innovations National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jain, Sanjay, 2012. "Pragmatic agency in technology standards setting: The case of Ethernet," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1643-1654.
    3. Justus Baron & Yann Ménière & Tim Pohlmann, 2012. "Joint innovation in ICT standards: How consortia drive the volume of patent filings," Working Papers hal-00707291, HAL.
    4. Hussinger, Katrin & Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "The value of disclosing IPR to open standard setting organizations," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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