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The economics of markets and platforms


  • Daniel F. Spulber


Advances in the study of both markets and platforms contribute to economics. Platforms are typically digital markets, although platforms can designate markets generally. So, the economics of markets and the economics of platforms are one and the same. Platforms show the critical role of intermediaries in endogenous price adjustment and market clearing. The platform model remedies problems with general equilibrium analysis by combining and extending the basic Walrasian and Marshalian market models. The analysis of platforms provides explanations for the bid–ask spread, including market power, search costs, matching costs, adverse selection, and moral hazard. The study of platforms demonstrates the importance of participation and coordination in the formation of markets. The discussion emphasizes that platforms have significant implications for the theory of the firm. The analysis further considers how platforms affect innovation and entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel F. Spulber, 2019. "The economics of markets and platforms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 159-172, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:28:y:2019:i:1:p:159-172
    DOI: 10.1111/jems.12290

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Economides & Evangelos Katsamakas, 2006. "Two-Sided Competition of Proprietary vs. Open Source Technology Platforms and the Implications for the Software Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1057-1071, July.
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    10. Rodolphe Durand & Robert M. Grant & Tammy L. Madsen & David P. McIntyre & Arati Srinivasan, 2017. "Networks, platforms, and strategy: Emerging views and next steps," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 141-160, January.
    11. Feng Zhu & Marco Iansiti, 2012. "Entry into platform‐based markets," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 88-106, January.
    12. Donald A. Walker, 1990. "Disequilibrium and Equilibrium in Walras's Model of Oral Pledges Markets," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 41(6), pages 961-978.
    13. Carliss Y. Baldwin & C. Jason Woodard, 2009. "The Architecture of Platforms: A Unified View," Chapters, in: Annabelle Gawer (ed.), Platforms, Markets and Innovation, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Pankaj Ghemawat, 2006. "Dynamic Mixed Duopoly: A Model Motivated by Linux vs. Windows," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1072-1084, July.
    15. David Lucking-Reiley & Daniel F. Spulber, 2001. "Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 55-68, Winter.
    16. Luís Cabral & Ali Hortaçsu, 2010. "The Dynamics Of Seller Reputation: Evidence From Ebay," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 54-78, March.
    17. Daniel F. Spulber, 2009. "The Map Of Commerce: Internet Search, Competition, And The Circular Flow Of Information," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(4), pages 633-682.
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    Cited by:

    1. R. Andrew Butters & Daniel F. Spulber, 2020. "The Extent Of The Market And Integration Through Factor Markets: Evidence From Wholesale Electricity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 58(3), pages 1076-1108, July.
    2. Filippo Belloc, 2019. "Why Isn't Uber Worker-Managed? A Model of Digital Platform Cooperatives," CESifo Working Paper Series 7708, CESifo.
    3. Sergey Yevgenievich Barykin & Irina Vasilievna Kapustina & Tatiana Viktorovna Kirillova & Vladimir Konstantinovich Yadykin & Yevgenii Aleksandrovich Konnikov, 2020. "Economics of Digital Ecosystems," JOItmC, MDPI, vol. 6(4), pages 1-16, October.
    4. Piolatto, A. & Schuett, Florian, 2022. "Information vs Competition : How Platform Design Affects Profits and Surplus," Other publications TiSEM ac184e2f-0492-4738-b455-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Heidrun Hoppe-Wewetzer & Christian Siemering, 2022. "Advertisement-financed credit ratings," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 46(1), pages 188-206, January.
    6. Belloc, Filippo, 2019. "Effort under alternative pay contracts in the ride-sharing industry," MPRA Paper 95179, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Michael R. Baye & David E. M. Sappington, 2020. "Revealing transactions data to third parties: Implications of privacy regimes for welfare in online markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 260-275, April.
    8. Harold Paredes-Frigolett & Andreas Pyka, 2022. "The global stakeholder capitalism model of digital platforms and its implications for strategy and innovation from a Schumpeterian perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 463-500, April.
    9. Bauer, Johannes M. & Bohlin, Erik, 2022. "Regulation and innovation in 5G markets," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4).
    10. Amedeo Piolatto & Florian Schuett, 2022. "Information vs Competition: How Platform Design Affects Profits and Surplus," Working Papers 1325, Barcelona School of Economics.
    11. Christopher Helm & Tim A. Herberger & Marcel Tyrell, 2021. "Demand dynamics across secondary German Book markets: an information aggregation and synthetization approach," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 567-596, June.
    12. Bauer, Johannes M. & Prado, Tiago S., 2020. "Lessons from Innovation Economics for Digital Platform Policy," ITS Conference, Online Event 2020 224846, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).

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