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Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation

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  • Joseph Farrell
  • Garth Saloner

Abstract

There are often benefits to consumers and to firms from standardization of a product. We examine whether these standardization benefits can "trap" an industry in an obsolete or inferior standard when there is a better alternative available. With complete information and identical preferences among firms the answer is no; but when information is incomplete this "excess inertia" can occur. We also discuss the extent to which the problem can be overcome by communication.

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File URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0741-6261%28198521%2916%3A1%3C70%3ASCAI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Q&origin=repec
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (1985)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 70-83

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:16:y:1985:i:spring:p:70-83

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