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The welfare effect of quality degradation in the presence of network externalities

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  • Hahn, Jong-Hee

Abstract

This paper examines how the presence of network externalities affects a monopolist’s incentive for quality degradation and its welfare consequence. The software and the Internet service industries provide our primary motivation. The network externality may lead to a Pareto-improving quality degradation that would not be realised in the absence of network externalities. However, it may also overturn a potentially Paretoimproving quality degradation to a welfare-reducing one, or result in the realisation of a welfare-reducing quality degradation that would be avoided without network externalities. We also endogenise the firm’s forward and backward compatibility decisions between the original good and the degraded good. Key Words : Damaged Goods, Quality Degradation, Network Externalities, Compatibility,Price Discrimination, Software
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Suggested Citation

  • Hahn, Jong-Hee, 2004. "The welfare effect of quality degradation in the presence of network externalities," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 535-552, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:16:y:2004:i:4:p:535-552
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco.
    2. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
    3. Cabral, Luis M. B. & Salant, David J. & Woroch, Glenn A., 1999. "Monopoly pricing with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 199-214.
    4. Raymond J. Deneckere & R. Preston McAfee, 1996. "Damaged Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 149-174, June.
    5. Choi, Jay Pil, 1994. "Network Externality, Compatibility Choice, and Planned Obsolescence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 167-182, June.
    6. Bensaid, Bernard & Lesne, Jean-Philippe, 1996. "Dynamic monopoly pricing with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 837-855, October.
    7. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    8. Michael Waldman, 1993. "A New Perspective on Planned Obsolescence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 273-283.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corrado Benassi & Marcella Scrimitore, 2017. "Income Distribution in Network Markets," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 251-271, September.
    2. Jong‐Hee Hahn, 2006. "Damaged durable goods," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 121-133, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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