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The Production of Compatibility: Technical Standards as Collective Goods

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  • Berg, Sanford V

Abstract

This note draws upon the theories of externalities and public goods to analyze the determinants of compatibility in an industry. It shows how choices by individual firms affect compatibility among products. Incompatibility, the coexistence of different technical standards for a basic product, limits the availability of complementary products and repair services. The resulting negative impact of incompatibility on consumers (and market demand) is partially mitigated by several factors, including the availability of low-cost translator devices and the value placed on unique product characteristics lost under standardization. Short case studies illustrate how compatibility can be affected by private and collective decision-making. Copyright 1989 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

Suggested Citation

  • Berg, Sanford V, 1989. "The Production of Compatibility: Technical Standards as Collective Goods," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 361-383.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:42:y:1989:i:3:p:361-83
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    Cited by:

    1. Mangematin, V. & Callon, M., 1995. "Technological competition, strategies of the firms and the choice of the first users: the case of road guidance technologies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 441-458, May.
    2. Kölln, Volker, 2011. "Produktdiffusion in TIMES-Märkten: Innovation, Kompatibilität und Timing bei Netzeffektgütern," Discussion Papers on Strategy and Innovation 11-01, Philipps-University Marburg, Department of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM).
    3. Blankart, Charles B. & Knieps, Gunter, 1995. "Market-oriented open network provision," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-296, September.
    4. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:6:p:1116-1127 is not listed on IDEAS

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