Network Effects in Alternative Fuel Adoption: Empirical Analysis of the Market for Ethanol
This paper investigates the importance of network effects in the demand for ethanol-compatible vehicles and the supply of ethanol fuel retailers. An indirect network effect, or positive feedback loop, arises in this context due to spatially-dependent complementarities in the availability of ethanol fuel and the installed base of ethanol-compatible vehicles. Marketers and social planners are interested in whether these effects exist, and if so, how policy might accelerate adoption of the ethanol fuel standard within a targeted population. To measure these feedback effects, I develop an econometric framework that considers the simultaneous determination of ethanol-compatible vehicle demand and ethanol fuel supply in local markets. The demand-side of the model considers the automobile purchase decisions of consumers and fleet operators, and the supply-side model considers the ethanol market entry decisions of competing fuel retailers. I propose new estimators that address the endogeneity induced by the co-determination of alternative fuel vehicle demand and alternative fuel supply. I estimate the model using zip code level panel data from six states over a six year period. I find the network effect to be highly significant, both statistically and economically. Under typical market conditions, entry of an additional ethanol fuel retailer leads to a 12% increase in consumer demand for ethanol-compatible vehicles. The entry model estimates imply that a monopolist requires a local installed base of at least 204 ethanol-compatible vehicles to be profitable. As an application, I demonstrate how the model estimates can inform the promotional strategy of a vehicle manufacturer. Counterfactual simulations indicate that subsidizing fuel retailers to offer ethanol can be an effective policy to indirectly increase ethanol-compatible vehicle sales.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hiroshi Ohashi, 2003. "The Role of Network Effects in the US VCR Market, 1978-1986," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 447-494, December.
- Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
- Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
- Matthew T. Clements & Hiroshi Ohashi, 2004.
"Indirect Network Effects and the Product Cycle: Video Games in the U.S., 1994-2002,"
CIRJE-F-261, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
- Matthew T. Clements & Hiroshi Ohashi, 2004. "Indirect Network Effects and the Product Cycle: Video Games in the U.S., 1994-2002," Working Papers 04-01, NET Institute, revised Oct 2004.
- Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1999.
"Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 397-420, Autumn.
- Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1996. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," NBER Working Papers 5528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nair, Harikesh S. & Chintagunta, Pradeep & Dube, Jean-Pierre, 2003.
"Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Market for Personal Digital Assistants,"
1948, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- 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, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 23-58, 03.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1020. 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: (Nicholas Economides)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.