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Standard Setting Committees: Consensus Governance for Shared Technology Platforms

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  • Timothy Simcoe

Abstract

Voluntary Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) use a consensus process to create new compatibility standards. Practitioners have suggested that SSOs are increasingly politicized and perhaps incapable of producing timely standards. This article develops a simple model of standard setting committees and tests its predictions using data from the Internet Engineering Task Force, an SSO that produces many of the standards used to run the Internet. The results show that an observed slowdown in standards production between 1993 and 2003 can be linked to distributional conflicts created by the rapid commercialization of the Internet. (JEL C78, L15, L86)

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Simcoe, 2012. "Standard Setting Committees: Consensus Governance for Shared Technology Platforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 305-336, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:1:p:305-36
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Belleflamme,Paul & Peitz,Martin, 2015. "Industrial Organization," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107687899, November.
    2. Gandal, Neil & Régibeau, Pierre, 2014. "SSOs: Current Policy Issues and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Baron, Justus & Ménière, Yann & Pohlmann, Tim, 2014. "Standards, consortia, and innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 22-35.
    4. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2015. "Standard-Essential Patents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(3), pages 547-586.
    5. Hussinger, Katrin & Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "The value of disclosing IPR to open standard setting organizations," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Delcamp, Henry & Leiponen, Aija, 2014. "Innovating standards through informal consortia: The case of wireless telecommunications," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 36-47.
    7. Gastón Llanes & Joaquín Poblete, 2014. "Ex Ante Agreements in Standard Setting and Patent-Pool Formation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 50-67, March.
    8. Baron, Justus & Pohlmann, Tim & Blind, Knut, 2016. "Essential patents and standard dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1762-1773.
    9. Paul Wakke & Knut Blind & Florian Ramel, 2016. "The impact of participation within formal standardization on firm performance," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 317-330, June.
    10. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:8:p:1370-1386 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Gallini, Nancy, 2014. "Cooperating with competitors: Patent pooling and choice of a new standard," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 4-21.
    12. repec:nbr:nberch:14012 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline, 2016. "Multiple Standards: the Case of the French Building Industry," Policy Papers 2016.08, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    14. Timothy Simcoe, 2014. "Governing the Anticommons: Institutional Design for Standard-Setting Organizations," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 99-128.
    15. Heski Bar-Isaac & Guillermo Caruana & Vicente Cuñat, 2010. "Information Gathering and Marketing," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, pages 375-401.
    16. Jain, Sanjay, 2012. "Pragmatic agency in technology standards setting: The case of Ethernet," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1643-1654.
    17. Larouche, Pierre & Schütt, Florian, 2016. "Repeated Interaction in Standard Setting," Discussion Paper 2016-010, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    18. Cabral, Luís & Salant, David, 2014. "Evolving technologies and standards regulation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 48-56.
    19. Justus Baron & Yann Ménière & Tim Pohlmann, 2012. "Joint innovation in ICT standards: How consortia drive the volume of patent filings," Working Papers hal-00707291, HAL.
    20. Bonatti, Alessandro & Rantakari, Heikki, 2014. "The Politics of Compromise," CEPR Discussion Papers 9910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Avi Goldfarb & Daniel Trefler, 2018. "AI and International Trade," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Artificial Intelligence National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Wen Wen & Chris Forman & Sirkka Jarvenpaa, 2014. "How Do Open Standards Influence Inventive Activity? Evidence from the IETF," Working Papers 14-20, NET Institute.
    23. Raven, Michael & Blind, Knut, 2017. "The characteristics and impacts of scientific publications in biotechnology research referenced in standards," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 167-179.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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