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Pricing of Complementary Goods and Network Effects

Author

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  • Viard, V. Brian

    (Stanford U)

  • Economides, Nicholas

    (New York U)

Abstract

We discuss the case of a monopolist of a base good in the presence of a complementary good provided either by it or by another firm. We assess and calibrate the extent of the influence of the profits from the base good that is created by the existence of complementary good, i.e., the extent of the network effect. We establish an equivalence between a model of a base and a complementary good and a reduced-form model of the base good in which network effects are assumed in the consumers' utility functions as a surrogate for the presence of direct or indirect network effects, such as complementary goods produced by other firms. We also assess and calibrate the influence on profits of the intensity of network effects and quality improvements in both goods. We evaluate the incentive that a monopolist of the base good has to improve its quality rather than that of the complementary good under different market structures. Finally, based on our results, we discuss a possible explanation of the fact that Microsoft Office has a significantly higher price that Microsoft Windows although both products have comparable market shares.

Suggested Citation

  • Viard, V. Brian & Economides, Nicholas, 2006. "Pricing of Complementary Goods and Network Effects," Research Papers 1812r2, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1812r2
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    File URL: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/library/RP1812(R2).pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "Installed Base and Compatibility: Innovation, Product Preannouncements, and Predation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 940-955, December.
    2. Nicholas Economides, 2001. "The Microsoft Antitrust Case," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-39, March.
    3. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
    4. Carmen Matutes & Pierre Regibeau, 1988. ""Mix and Match": Product Compatibility without Network Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 221-234, Summer.
    5. Chou, Chien-fu & Shy, Oz, 1990. "Network effects without network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-270, June.
    6. Neil Gandal & Michael Kende & Rafael Rob, 2000. "The Dynamics of Technological Adoption in Hardware/Software Systems: The Case of Compact Disc Players," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 43-61, Spring.
    7. Harikesh Nair & Pradeep Chintagunta & Jean-Pierre Dubé, 2004. "Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Market for Personal Digital Assistants," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 23-58, March.
    8. Erik Brynjolfsson & Chris F. Kemerer, 1996. "Network Externalities in Microcomputer Software: An Econometric Analysis of the Spreadsheet Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1627-1647, December.
    9. Marc Rysman, 2004. "Competition Between Networks: A Study of the Market for Yellow Pages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 483-512.
    10. Shy,Oz, 2001. "The Economics of Network Industries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521805001.
    11. David Dranove & Neil Gandal, 2003. "The Dvd-vs.-Divx Standard War: Empirical Evidence of Network Effects and Preannouncement Effects," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 363-386, September.
    12. Clements, Matthew T., 2004. "Direct and indirect network effects: are they equivalent?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 633-645, May.
    13. Economides, Nicholas, 1996. "Network externalities, complementarities, and invitations to enter," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 211-233, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andras Niedermayer, 2006. "Does a Platform Monopolist Want Competition?," Diskussionsschriften dp0604, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    2. Niedermayer, Andreas, 2015. "Does a Platform Monopolist Want Competition?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 523, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    3. Michel Fok, 2009. "Restructurer efficacement les filières cotonnières en Afrique : les leçons de la déréglementation des réseaux de service en Occident," Post-Print halshs-00476447, HAL.
    4. Andras Niedermayer, 2005. "Does a Platform Owning Monopolist Want Competition?," Diskussionsschriften dp0517, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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