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Strategic R%D in systems industry - a network externality-based theory

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  • Sumit Sarkar

Abstract

The existing literature suggests that an incumbent monopolist supplier of a system component can successfully deter entry by increasing its installed base, which plays a role similar to that of the commitment value of investment in capacity. In this paper, we consider a systems market with network externality, where the consumers' utility not only depends on the network size but also on the technological quality of the product. We show that when the installed base of the incumbent fails to play its pre-emptive role to deter entry, the monopolist can deter entry by strategic R%D investment in upgrading its product. The result is independent of whether the R%D project is, ex-post, successful or not. Such entry deterrence is welfare reducing.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumit Sarkar, 2012. "Strategic R%D in systems industry - a network externality-based theory," International Journal of Management and Network Economics, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(3), pages 236-256.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijmnec:v:2:y:2012:i:3:p:236-256
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. A. Michael Spence, 1979. "Investment Strategy and Growth in a New Market," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
    2. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1992. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 9-35, March.
    3. Kristiansen, Eirik Gaard, 1996. "R&D in markets with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 769-784, October.
    4. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    5. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1992. "Product Introduction with Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 55-83, March.
    6. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
    7. Shy, Oz, 1996. "Technology revolutions in the presence of network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 785-800, October.
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