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Standardization in Decentralized Economies

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  • Auriol, Emmanuelle
  • Benaim, Michel

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic model, inspired by evolutionary game theory, of how standards and norms emerge in decentralized economies. It shows that standardization outcomes depend on adopters' attitudes to problems caused by incompatibility. If individuals display aversion to incompatibility, standardization never fails to happen eventually, but societies sometimes end up picking inferior standards. In this case, official action can be useful to quickly achieve sensible standardization. On the other hand, when individuals display tolerance or neutrality to incompatibility, there is neither path-dependency nor a lock-in problem, and regulation seems a poor alternative to laissez-faire.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 85.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Publication status: Published in American Economic Review, vol.�90, 2000, p.�550-570.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:691

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References

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  1. Ellison, Glenn, 1993. "Learning, Local Interaction, and Coordination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1047-71, September.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
  3. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  4. M. Kandori & G. Mailath & R. Rob, 1999. "Learning, Mutation and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 500, David K. Levine.
  5. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-93, Fall.
  6. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
  7. Brian Arthur, W. & Ermoliev, Yu. M. & Kaniovski, Yu. M., 1987. "Path-dependent processes and the emergence of macro-structure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 294-303, June.
  8. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 70-83, Spring.
  9. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Christopher Spencer & Paul Temple, 2012. "Alternative Paths of Learning: Standardisation and Growth in Britain, 1901-2009," Discussion Paper Series 2012_10, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Oct 2012.
  2. Cabral, Luis, 2009. "Dynamic price competition with network effects," IESE Research Papers D/843, IESE Business School.
  3. Cantillon, Estelle & Yin, Pai-Ling, 2007. "How and when do markets tip? Lessons from the Battle of the Bund," Working Paper Series 0766, European Central Bank.
  4. Cristopher Spencer & Paul Temple, 2013. "Standards, Learning and Growth in Britain 1901-2009," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0613, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  5. Klimenko, Mikhail M., 2009. "Policies and international trade agreements on technical compatibility for industries with network externalities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 151-166, April.
  6. Markovich, Sarit, 2008. "Snowball: A dynamic oligopoly model with indirect network effects," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 909-938, March.

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