IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/4901.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Competitive Crash in Large-Scale Commercial Computing

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy F. Bresnahan
  • Shane Greenstein

Abstract

We examine the factors underlying buyer demand for large Information Technology solutions in order to understand the competitive crash in large scale commercial computing. We examine individual buyer data from two periods. The first is in the mid 1980's, late in the period of a mature and stable large-systems market. The other period is in the early 1990's, very early in the diffusion of a new, competitive technology, client/server, when many buyers chose to wait for the new technology to mature. We clarify the implications of different theories of the competitive crash and then test them. The most popular theories are far wrong, while the correct view emphasizes the 'internal' adjustment costs to organizations making IT investments. Understanding buyer behavior not only illuminates the competitive crash, but also the factors underlying the slow realization of the social gains to Information Technology in large complex applications more generally.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy F. Bresnahan & Shane Greenstein, 1994. "The Competitive Crash in Large-Scale Commercial Computing," NBER Working Papers 4901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4901
    Note: IO PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4901.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Greenstein, Shane, 1999. "Technological Competition and the Structure of the Computer Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 1-40, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 1993. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium: Part I and II," NBER Working Papers 4264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Installed Base and Compatibility With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 385, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1986. "Measuring the Spillovers from Technical Advance: Mainframe Computers inFinancial Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 742-755, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Joachim Henkel & Eric von Hippel, 2005. "Welfare Implications of User Innovation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 73-87, January.
    2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Beethika Khan, 2003. "Adoption of New Technology," NBER Working Papers 9730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Shane M. Greenstein & Mercedes M. Lizardo & Pablo T. Spiller, 1997. "The Evolution of Advanced Large Scale Information Infrastructure in the United States," NBER Working Papers 5929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Franco Malerba, 1997. "Industrial Dynamics and the Evolution of Firms' and Nations' Competitive Capabilities in the World Computer Industry," Working Papers 97030, Stanford University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4901. 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: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.