IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Network Externalities in Microcomputer Software: An Econometric Analysis of the Spreadsheet Market

Listed author(s):
  • Erik Brynjolfsson

    (MIT Sloan School of Management, E53-313, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142)

  • Chris F. Kemerer

    (Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, 278A Mervis Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260)

Because of network externalities, the success of a software product may depend in part on stalled base and its conformance to industry standards. This research builds a hedonic model to determine the effects of network externalities, standards, intrinsic features and a time trend on microcomputer spreadsheet software prices. When data for a sample of products during the 1987--1992 time period were analyzed using this model, four main results emerged: 1) Network externalities, as measured by the size of a product's installed base, significantly increased the price of spreadsheet products: a one percent increase in a product's installed base was associated with a 0.75% increase in its price. 2) Products which adhered to the dominant standard, the Lotus menu tree interface, commanded prices which were higher by an average of 46%. 3) Although nominal prices increased slightly during this time period, quality-adjusted prices declined by an average of 16% per year. 4) The hedonic model was found to be a good predictor of actual market prices, despite the fact that it was originally estimated using list prices. Several variations of the model were examined, and, while the qualitative findings were robust, the precise estimates of the coefficients varied somewhat depending on the sample of products examined, the weighting of the observations and the functional form used in estimation, suggesting that the use of hedonic methods in this domain is subject to a number of limitations due, inter alia, to the potential for strategic pricing by vendors.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 42 (1996)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 1627-1647

in new window

Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:42:y:1996:i:12:p:1627-1647
Contact details of provider: Postal:
7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:42:y:1996:i:12:p:1627-1647. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.