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An Analysis of the Process Generating De Facto Standards in the PC Spreadsheet Software Market


  • Shurmer, M
  • Swann, P


This paper develops a model to analyze the emergence of de facto or 'market defined' compatibility standards in the market for PC spreadsheet software over the period 1982-1988. The model is capable of integrating diverse fragments of empirical evidence and a number of important theoretical building blocks, in particular the analysis of gateways between different versions of the same package, product preannouncements, and diverse consumer tastes towards intrinsic quality and network externalities. The model also explores the implications of different functional forms for the relationship between installed base and the value of network externalities. The paper finds that at least some enhancements to the basic model of standards have to be incorporated to offer a reasonable approximation to developments in the PC spreadsheet software market. The simplest model of de facto standards is not able to describe developments in this market.

Suggested Citation

  • Shurmer, M & Swann, P, 1995. "An Analysis of the Process Generating De Facto Standards in the PC Spreadsheet Software Market," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 119-132, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:5:y:1995:i:2:p:119-32

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Michael E. Porter & Scott Stern, 2000. "Measuring the "Ideas" Production Function: Evidence from International Patent Output," NBER Working Papers 7891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Auerswald, Philip & Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Shell, Karl, 2000. "The production recipes approach to modeling technological innovation: An application to learning by doing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 389-450, March.
    9. Fleming, Lee & Sorenson, Olav, 2001. "Technology as a complex adaptive system: evidence from patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1019-1039, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jürgen Bitzer, 1997. "The Computer Software Industry in East and West: Do Eastern European Countries Need a Specific Science and Technology Policy?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 149, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Swann, G. M. Peter, 2001. "Sales practice and market evolution: the case of virtual reality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1119-1139, July.
    3. Raven, Michael & Blind, Knut, 2017. "The characteristics and impacts of scientific publications in biotechnology research referenced in standards," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 167-179.
    4. Blind, Knut & Mangelsdorf, Axel, 2016. "Motives to standardize: Empirical evidence from Germany," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 48, pages 13-24.
    5. G.M. Peter Swann, 1999. "An Economic Analysis of Taste-A Review of Gary S. Becker: Accounting for Tastes," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 281-296.
    6. Swann, G. M. Peter, 2002. "The functional form of network effects," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 417-429, September.
    7. Ma, Chunbo & Polyakov, Maksym & Pandit, Ram, 2015. "Solar Capitalization in Western Australian Property Market," Working Papers 199230, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    8. Schneider, Lorenz, 2014. "Firm value in emerging network industries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 75-87.
    9. Windrum, Paul & Swann, Peter, 1999. "Networks, Noise and Navigation: Sustaining Metcalfe’s Law through Technological Innovation," Research Memorandum 009, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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