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Barriers to network-specific innovation

  • Antoine Martin
  • Michael J. Orlando

We consider an environment in which participants make payments over a network and can invest in a technology that reduces the marginal cost of using the network. A network effect results in multiple equilibria; either all agents invest and usage of the network is high or no agents invest and usage of the network is low. The high-usage equilibrium can be implemented through introduction of a coordinator. Under monopoly network ownership, however, fixed costs associated with use of the network-specific technology result in a hold-up problem that implements the low-investment equilibrium. And even where subsidies can avoid such hold-up, optimal monopoly pricing of network usage may avoid investment in the network-specific technology if demand for on-network transactions is sufficiently inelastic.

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File URL: http://www.kansascityfed.org/Publicat/Reswkpap/pdf/RWP04-11.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 04-11.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp04-11
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  1. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1984. "Standardization, Compatibility and Innovation," Working papers 345, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Julian Wright, 2004. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-26, 03.
  3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
  4. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-60, March.
  5. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  6. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform Competition in Two Sided Markets," FMG Discussion Papers dp409, Financial Markets Group.
  7. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
  8. Schiff, Aaron, 2003. "Open and closed systems of two-sided networks," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 425-442, December.
  9. Klein, Benjamin, 1988. "Vertical Integration as Organizational Ownership: The Fisher Body-General Motors Relationship Revisited," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 199-213, Spring.
  10. Cardillo, Matthew & Martin, Antoine & Orland0, Michael, 2004. "Innovation on networks: Coordination, governance, and the case of VISA," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 12, pages 104-106.
  11. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
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