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Competition with Local Network Externalities

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  • Fjeldstad, Øystein
  • Moen, Espen R
  • Riis, Christian

Abstract

Local network externalities are present when the utility of buying from a firm not only depends on the number of other customers (global network externalities), but also on their identity and/or characteristics. We explore the consequences of local network externalities within a framework where two firms compete offering differentiated products. We first show that local network externalities, in contrast to global network externalities, don't necessarily sharpen competition. Then we show that the equilibrium allocation is inefficient, in the sense that the allocation of consumers on firms does not maximize social surplus. Finally we show that local network externalities create a difference between the marginal and the average consumer, which gives rise to inefficiently high usage prices and too high level of compatibility between the networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7778.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7778

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Related research

Keywords: competition; differentiated products; efficiency; Local network externalities;

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References

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  1. Banerji, A & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2005. "Local Network Externalities and Market Segmentation," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 725, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Sanjeev Goyal & Andrea Galeotti, 2007. "A Theory of Strategic Diffusion," Working Papers 2007.70, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1992. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 9-35, March.
  4. Catherine Tucker, 2008. "Identifying Formal and Informal Influence in Technology Adoption with Network Externalities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(12), pages 2024-2038, December.
  5. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  6. Daniel Birke & G. Swann, 2006. "Network effects and the choice of mobile phone operator," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 65-84, April.
  7. Øystein D. Fjeldstad & Amir Sasson, 2010. "Membership Matters: On the Value of Being Embedded in Customer Networks," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(6), pages 944-966, 09.
  8. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800952, October.
  9. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
  10. Swann, G. M. Peter, 2002. "The functional form of network effects," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 417-429, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Steffen Hoernig & Roman Inderst & Tommaso Valletti, 2011. "Calling Circles: Network Competition with Non-Uniform Calling Patterns," CEIS Research Paper 206, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 04 Jul 2011.
  2. Hornuf, Lars & Engert, Andreas, 2013. "Can Network Effects Impede Optimal Contracting in Debt Securities?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79867, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Griva, Krina & Vettas, Nikolaos, 2011. "Price competition in a differentiated products duopoly under network effects," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 85-97, March.

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