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Does First Last: The Existence and Extent of First Mover Advantages on Spatial Networks

  • David Levinson
  • Feng Xie


    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

This paper examines the nature of first mover advantages on spatially-differentiated surface transportation networks. The literature on first mover advantages identifies a number of sources that explain their existence. However whether those sources exist on spatial networks, and how they play out with true capital immobility have been unanswered questions. By examining empirical examples including commuter rail and the Underground in London and roads in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, first mover advantages were observed in rail stations but not in the road network. A simulation model was then constructed to replicate the growth of surface transportation networks incorporating idealized deployment decisions and to test whether the first network elements (links, nodes) remain strongest (or even strong) into the future. Simulation experiments were conducted and Spearman rank correlation tests revealed that first mover advantages exist in both nodes and links and become increasingly prominent as the network evolves due to the accumulated advantage of earlier established network elements. Simulation results also disclosed that network growth with a higher concentration of initial land uses results in stronger first mover advantages, and that the extent may vary as the topological attributes of the network change over time. The sensitivity of simulation results on model parameters are also discussed.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 000052.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Transport and Land Use 4(2) pp. 47-69
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:doesfirstlast
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
Fax: +01 (612) 626-7750
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