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The Role of Network Effects in the US VCR Market, 1978–1986

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  • Hiroshi Ohashi

Abstract

This paper estimates the importance of indirect network effects in the US video cassette recorder (VCR) market between 1978 and 1986. Estimation reveals the significant role of networks in the format competition between VHS and Beta. The paper also finds that if Sony, the system sponsor of Beta, had aggressively introduced its VCRs at the early stage of competition, Beta would likely have dominated the market in 1985; instead, the format disappeared in 1989. Finally, the paper measures consumer welfare for the value of network effects in VCRs, and assesses the consumer welfare effect of standardization.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroshi Ohashi, 2003. "The Role of Network Effects in the US VCR Market, 1978–1986," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 447-494, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:12:y:2003:i:4:p:447-494
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1430-9134.2003.00447.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1430-9134.2003.00447.x
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    1. Church Jeffrey & Gandal Neil & Krause David, 2008. "Indirect Network Effects and Adoption Externalities," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 1-22, September.
    2. Park, Sangin, 2003. "Semiparametric instrumental variables estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 381-399, February.
    3. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-343, October.
    4. Neil Gandal & Michael Kende & Rafael Rob, 2000. "The Dynamics of Technological Adoption in Hardware/Software Systems: The Case of Compact Disc Players," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 43-61, Spring.
    5. Erik Brynjolfsson & Chris F. Kemerer, 1996. "Network Externalities in Microcomputer Software: An Econometric Analysis of the Spreadsheet Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1627-1647, December.
    6. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
    7. Garth Saloner & Andrea Shepard, 1995. "Adoption of Technologies with Network Effects: An Empirical Examination of the Adoption of Teller Machines," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 479-501, Autumn.
    8. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    9. Ohashi, Hiroshi, 2002. "Anticipatory effects of voluntary export restraints: a study of home video cassette recorders market, 1978-86," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 83-105, June.
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