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Network Effects, Market Structure and Industry Performance

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Abstract

This paper provides a thorough analysis of oligopolistic markets with positive demand-side network externalities and perfect compatibility. The minimal structure imposed on the model primitives is such that industry output increases in a firm's rivals' total output as well as in the expected network size. This leads to a generalized equilibrium existence treatment that includes guarantees for a nontrivial equilibrium, and some insight into possible multiplicity of equilibria. We formalize the concept of industry viability and show that it is always enhanced by having more firms in the market. We also characterize the effects of market structure on industry performance, with an emphasis on departures from standard markets. As per-firm profits need not be monotonic in the number of competitors, we revisit the concept of free entry equilibrium for network industries. The approach relies on lattice-theoretic methods, which allow for a unified treatment of various general results in the literature on network goods. Several illustrative examples with closed-form solutions are also provided.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 09-27.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0927

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Keywords: Network effects; demand-side externalities; Cournot oligopoly; supermodularity.;

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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Burguet & R. Preston McAfee, 2008. "License Prices for Financially Constrained Firms," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 745.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Laussel, Didier & Resende, Joana, 2014. "Dynamic price competition in aftermarkets with network effects," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 106-118.
  3. Didier LAUSSEL & Ngo Van LONG & Joana RESENDE, 2014. "Network E¤ects, Aftermarkets and the Coase Conjecture : A Dynamic Markovian Approach," Cahiers de recherche 06-2014, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.

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