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A Replicator Dynamic and Simulation Analysis of Network Externalities and Compatibility Among Standards

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  • Heinrich, Torsten

Abstract

In the presence of network externalities, compatibility and tying or bundling of standards may be employed as strategic tools. This has reportedly been done by, e.g., many competitors in ICT industries. It remains, however, less clear which mechanisms exactly are exploited and in what way. The present paper investigates the economic role of compatibility or incompatibility of tied standards for the dynamics of competition between standards. A replicator model operating on an aggregated level is complemented by an agent-based simulation that takes into account the network structure among users and by an empirical example from the information technology sector. A variety of effects and strategic options of vendors of the standards are studied, including the role of initial usage share distribution, controlling the inter-subsectoral compatibility, setting up new competitors, and utilizing properties of the network such as central or peripheral positioning of agents (Feld's friendship paradox). The agent-based model contrasts a complete network and a regular ring network with asymmetric network structures derived from Barabàsi and Albert's preferential attachment mechanism and triadic closure. Though this explores only a small subset of the theoretically possible effects, it may contribute to a better understanding of strategic interaction in the presence of network externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinrich, Torsten, 2015. "A Replicator Dynamic and Simulation Analysis of Network Externalities and Compatibility Among Standards," MPRA Paper 67198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:67198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Heinrich, Torsten, 2016. "The Narrow and the Broad Approach to Evolutionary Modeling in Economics," MPRA Paper 75797, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    network externalities and platform competition and standard tying; information and communication technology; agent-based modeling; replicator dynamics; preferential attachment networks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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