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Systems Competition and Network Effects

  • Michael L. Katz
  • Carl Shapiro

This paper discusses firm behavior, market performance, and the public and private institutions that arise in systems markets, i.e., markets where consumers use compatible components together to generate benefits. In such markets, which include communications networks and 'hardware/software' networks, popular products are inherently more valuable. These 'network effects' can drive corporate strategies and are critical in understanding innovation in many high-technology markets. The discussion here emphasizes the dynamics of consumer adoption decisions in the presence of network effects, competition between incompatible systems, and how suppliers choose which components are compatible and which are not.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.2.93
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 8 (1994)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 93-115

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:8:y:1994:i:2:p:93-115
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.8.2.93
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  1. Joseph Farrell and Garth Saloner., 1987. "Coordination Through Committees and Markets," Economics Working Papers 8740, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Farrell, Joseph & Gallini, Nancy T, 1988. "Second-Sourcing as a Commitment: Monopoly Incentives to Attract Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 673-94, November.
  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. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 1988. "Dynamic Competition with Switching Costs," Economics Working Papers 8865, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1992. "Product Introduction with Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 55-83, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1989. "Optimal Contracts with Lock-In," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 51-68, March.
  8. Jeffrey Rohlfs, 1974. "A Theory of Interdependent Demand for a Communications Service," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(1), pages 16-37, Spring.
  9. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Product Compatibility Choice in a Market with Technological Progress," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 146-65, Suppl. No.
  10. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1984. "Standardization, Compatibility and Innovation," Working papers 345, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  12. A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
  13. Economides, Nicholas & Salop, Steven C, 1992. "Competition and Integration among Complements, and Network Market Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 105-23, March.
  14. Gilbert, Richard J, 1992. "Symposium on Compatibility: Incentives and Market Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-8, March.
  15. 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.
  16. Dybvig, Philip H. & Spatt, Chester S., 1983. "Adoption externalities as public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-247, March.
  17. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
  18. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  19. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1992. "Compatibility and Bundling of Complementary Goods in a Duopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 37-54, March.
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