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Systems Competition and Network Effects

Author

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  • Michael L. Katz
  • Carl Shapiro

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
  • 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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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.2.93
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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