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Pricing of Complementary Goods and Network Effects

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Author Info

  • Nicholas Economides

    ()
    (Stern School of Business, NYU)

  • V. Brian Viard

    ()
    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

Abstract

We discuss the case of a monopolist of a base good in the presence of complementary goods provided either by it or by other firms. We assess and calibrate the extent of the influence on the profits from the base good that is created by the existence of complementary goods, i.e., the extent of the network effect. We establish an equivalence between a model of a base and a complementary good and a reduced-form model of the base good in which network effects are assumed in the consumers’ utility functions as a surrogate for the presence of complementary goods produced by others. We also assess and calibrate the influence on profits of the intensity of network effects and quality improvements in both goods. We evaluate the incentive that a monopolist of the base good has to improve its quality rather than that of complementary goods. Finally, based on our results, we discuss an explanation of the fact that Microsoft Office has a significantly higher price than Microsoft Windows although both products have comparable market shares.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 04-21.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision: Aug 2004
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0421

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Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

Related research

Keywords: calibration; monopoly; network effects; complementary goods; software; Microsoft;

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References

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  1. David Dranove & Neil Gandal, 2003. "The Dvd-vs.-Divx Standard War: Empirical Evidence of Network Effects and Preannouncement Effects," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 363-386, 09.
  2. Gandal, Neil & Kirkwood MP, Archy & Rob, Rafael, 1999. "The Dynamics of Technological Adoption in Hardware/Software Systems: The Case of Compact Disc Players," CEPR Discussion Papers 2078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Carmen Matutes & Pierre Regibeau, 1988. ""Mix and Match": Product Compatibility without Network Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 221-234, Summer.
  4. Nicholas Economides, 1995. "The Economics of Networks," Working Papers 94-24, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Sep 1995.
  5. Nair, Harikesh S. & Chintagunta, Pradeep & Dube, Jean-Pierre, 2003. "Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Market for Personal Digital Assistants," Research Papers 1948, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  6. Gandal, Neil, 1995. "Competing Compatibility Standards and Network Externalities in the PC Software Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(4), pages 599-608, November.
  7. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800952, October.
  8. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
  9. Nicholas Economides, 2001. "The Microsoft Antitrust Case," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-39, March.
  10. Chou, Chien-fu & Shy, Oz, 1990. "Network effects without network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-270, June.
  11. Clements, Matthew T., 2004. "Direct and indirect network effects: are they equivalent?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 633-645, May.
  12. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "Network Externalities, Complementarities, and Invitations to Enter," Industrial Organization 9701004, EconWPA.
  13. Erik Brynjolfsson & Chris F. Kemerer, 1996. "Network Externalities in Microcomputer Software: An Econometric Analysis of the Spreadsheet Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1627-1647, December.
  14. Marc Rysman, 2004. "Competition Between Networks: A�Study of the Market for Yellow�Pages," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 483-512, 04.
  15. Marc Rysman, 2004. "Competition Between Networks: A Study of the Market for Yellow Pages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 483-512.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andras Niedermayer, 2006. "Does a Platform Monopolist Want Competition?," Diskussionsschriften dp0604, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  2. Michel Fok, 2009. "Restructurer efficacement les filières cotonnières en Afrique : les leçons de la déréglementation des réseaux de service en Occident," Post-Print halshs-00476447, HAL.
  3. Andras Niedermayer, 2005. "Does a Platform Owning Monopolist Want Competition?," Diskussionsschriften dp0517, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

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