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Bertrand competition in markets with network effects and switching costs

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  • Suleymanova, Irina
  • Wey, Christian

Abstract

We analyze Bertrand duopoly competition in markets with network effects and consumer switching costs. Depending on the ratio of switching costs to network effects, our modelerates four different market patterns: monopolization and market sharing which can be either monotone or alternating. A critical mass effect, where one firm becomes the monopolist for sure only occurs for intermediate values of the ratio, whereas for large switching costs market sharing is the unique equilibrium. For large network effcts both monopoly and market sharing equilibria exist. Our welfare analysis reveals a fundamental conflict between maximization of consumer surplus and social welfare when network effects are large. We also analyze firms' incentives for compatibility and we examine how market outcomes are affected by the switching costs, market expansion, and cost asymmetries. Finally, in a dynamic extension of our model, we show how competition depends on agents' discount factors. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 30.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:30

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Keywords: Network Effects; Switching Costs; Bertrand Competition;

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References

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  1. Klemperer, Paul, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-94, May.
  2. Rossella Argenziano, 2008. "Differentiated networks: equilibrium and efficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 747-769.
  3. Klemperer, Paul, 1995. "Competition When Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 515-39, October.
  4. Joseph Farrell and Garth Saloner., 1989. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Economics Working Papers 89-130, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 123-137, Spring.
  6. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  7. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
  8. Irina Suleymanova & Christian Wey, 2008. "On the (Mis-) Alignment of Consumer and Social Welfare in Markets with Network Effects," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 794, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. GRILO, Isabel & SHY, Oz & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Price competition when consumer behavior is characterized by conformity or vanity," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1518, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1990. "Endogenous switching costs in a duopoly model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 353-373, September.
  11. Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Mitchell, Matthew F., 2005. "Network Externalities and Long-Run Market Shares," Research Papers 1879, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  12. Beggs, Alan W & Klemperer, Paul, 1992. "Multi-period Competition with Switching Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 651-66, May.
  13. Farrell, Joseph & Klemperer, Paul, 2006. "Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt9n26k7v1, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  14. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Installed Base and Compatibility With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 385, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Angelique Augereau & Shane Greenstein & Marc Rysman, 2006. "Coordination versus differentiation in a standards war: 56K modems," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 887-909, December.
  16. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  17. Neil Gandal, 2002. "Compatibility, Standardization, and Network Effects: Some Policy Implications," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 80-91, Spring.
  18. Padilla A. Jorge, 1995. "Revisiting Dynamic Duopoly with Consumer Switching Costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 520-530, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Price-dependent demand in spatial models," DICE Discussion Papers 43, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  2. Claudia Keser & Irina Suleymanova & Christian Wey, 2009. "Technology Adoption in Critical Mass Games: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 961, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Timothy Keller & David Miller & Xiahua (Anny) Wei, 2010. "A Steady State Approach to a Network Externality Market With Switching Costs," Working Papers 10-19, NET Institute.
  4. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2011. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," DICE Discussion Papers 39, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  5. Alexei Alexandrov, 2008. "Interconnecting Differentiated Networks," Working Papers 08-07, NET Institute, revised Oct 2008.
  6. Christin, Clémence, 2011. "Entry deterrence through cooperative R&D over-investment," DICE Discussion Papers 38, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  7. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  8. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, June.
  9. Jiawei Chen, 2009. "Switching Costs and Dynamic Price Competition in Network Industries," Working Papers 09-25, NET Institute, revised Apr 2010.

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