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Network issues and payment systems

  • James J. McAndrews

Highways, railroads, pipelines—we see or hear about these types of physical networks almost every day. But information systems, such as the Internet, and payment systems, such as ATMs and credit cards, also involve networks. Hence, understanding the economics of networks and the unique features of network-dependent industries is crucial to modern life. In this article, James McAndrews outlines some of the unique features of network-dependent industries. He also analyzes some related payment-system issues and demonstrates that determining appropriate public policy would be difficult without a knowledge of the economics of payment networks.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its journal Business Review.

Volume (Year): (1997)
Issue (Month): Nov ()
Pages: 15-25

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:1997:i:nov:p:15-25
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  1. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Industrial Organization 9701002, EconWPA.
  2. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  3. Ted Temzelides, 1997. "Are bank runs contagious?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 3-14.
  4. Dybvig, Philip H. & Spatt, Chester S., 1983. "Adoption externalities as public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-247, March.
  5. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Installed Base and Compatibility With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 385, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Dennis W. Carlton & Alan S. Frankel, 1995. "Antitrust and payment technologies," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 41-54.
  7. Neil Gandal & Michael Kende & Rafael Rob, 1997. "The Dynamics of Technological Adoption in Hardware/Software Systems," CARE Working Papers 9706, The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Applied Research in Economics.
  8. Kirstin E. Wells, 1996. "Are checks overused?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-12.
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