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Irreversible Choice of Uncertain Technologies with Network Externalities


  • Jay Pil Choi


In this article, I explore the problem of sequential and irreversible technology choice in the presence of network externalities when the technologies stochastically evolve over time. Early potential users are shown to adopt an irreversible technology too early compared to the social optimum. The effect of increasing the uncertainty of the technologies on an early potential user's decision is analyzed. I find that the sponsor of new emerging technology might choose a research strategy that is too safe. I also study the consequences of allowing side payments between generations of consumers and demonstrate that an ex post optimal standardization policy can impair ex ante social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay Pil Choi, 1994. "Irreversible Choice of Uncertain Technologies with Network Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 382-401, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:25:y:1994:i:autumn:p:382-401

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    Cited by:

    1. Madlener, Reinhard & Kumbaroglu, Gurkan & Ediger, Volkan S., 2005. "Modeling technology adoption as an irreversible investment under uncertainty: the case of the Turkish electricity supply industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 139-163, January.
    2. Mason, R. & Weeds, H., 2000. "Networks, Options and Preemption," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 575, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Corrado Benassi & Marcella Scrimitore, 2017. "Income Distribution in Network Markets," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 251-271, September.
    4. Matthieu Glachant & Yann Ménière, 2013. "Technology Diffusion with Learning Spillovers: Patent Versus Free Access," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 81(5), pages 683-711, September.
    5. Choi, Jay Pil & Thum, Marcel, 1998. "Market structure and the timing of technology adoption with network externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 225-244, February.
    6. Farzin, Y. H. & Huisman, K. J. M. & Kort, P. M., 1998. "Optimal timing of technology adoption," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 779-799, May.
    7. Sangin Park, 2004. "Strategic Maneuvering and Standardization: Critical Advantage or Critical Mass?," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 596, Econometric Society.
    8. de Groot, Henri L. F. & Verhoef, Erik T. & Nijkamp, Peter, 2001. "Energy saving by firms: decision-making, barriers and policies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 717-740, November.
    9. Colla, Paolo & Garcia, Filomena, 2016. "Technology adoption: Hysteresis and absence of lock-in," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 107-111.
    10. Paul W.J. de Bijl & Sanjeev Goyal, 2002. "Market Integration and Technological Change," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 19-37, March.
    11. Chia-Hui Chen & Junichiro Ishida, 2017. "A War of Attrition with Experimenting Players," ISER Discussion Paper 1014, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    12. de Palma, Andre & Leruth, Luc & Regibeau, Pierre, 1999. "Partial compatibility with network externalities and double purchase," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 209-227, July.
    13. Kristiansen, Eirik Gaard, 1996. "R&D in markets with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 769-784, October.
    14. Heli Koski & Tobias Kretschmer, 2004. "Survey on Competing in Network Industries: Firm Strategies, Market Outcomes, and Policy Implications," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-31, March.
    15. Choi, Jay Pil, 1996. "Standardization and experimentation: Ex ante vs. ex post standardization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 273-290, September.
    16. Ludovico Alcorta & Morgan Bazilian & Giuseppe De Simone & Ascha Pedersen, 2012. "Return on Investment from Industrial Energy Efficiency: Evidence from Developing Countries," Working Papers 2012.35, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    17. COLLA, Paolo & GARCIA, Filomena, 2004. "Technology adoption with forward looking agents," CORE Discussion Papers 2004041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    18. Jing, Bing, 2007. "Network externalities and market segmentation in a monopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 7-13, April.
    19. Moretto, Michele, 2000. "Irreversible investment with uncertainty and strategic behavior," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 589-617, December.
    20. Kornish, Laura J., 2006. "Technology choice and timing with positive network effects," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 173(1), pages 268-282, August.
    21. den Hartigh, E. & Langerak, F. & Commandeur, H.R., 2002. "The Effects of Self-Reinforcing Mechanisms on Firm Performance," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-46-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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