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

Listed author(s):
  • Heinrich, Torsten

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.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/67198/1/MPRA_paper_67198.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 67198.

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Date of creation: 12 Oct 2015
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:67198
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  1. Jay Pil Choi, 2004. "Tying and innovation: A dynamic analysis of tying arrangements," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 83-101, January.
  2. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
  3. Heinrich, Torsten, 2014. "Standard wars, tied standards, and network externality induced path dependence in the ICT sector," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 309-320.
  4. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-841, August.
  5. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
  6. Martin Kenney & Bryan Pon, 2011. "Structuring the Smartphone Industry: Is the Mobile Internet OS Platform the Key?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 239-261, September.
  7. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
  8. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
  9. Kenney, Martin & Pon, Bryan, 2011. "Structuring the Smartphone Industry. Is the Mobile Internet OS Platform the Key?," Discussion Papers 1238, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  10. Brian Arthur, W. & Ermoliev, Yu. M. & Kaniovski, Yu. M., 1987. "Path-dependent processes and the emergence of macro-structure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 294-303, June.
  11. Barry Nalebuff, 2004. "Bundling as an Entry Barrier," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 159-187.
  12. Miao, Chun-Hui, 2008. "Tying, Compatibility and Planned Obsolescence," MPRA Paper 13523, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Eocman Lee & Jeho Lee & Jongseok Lee, 2006. "Reconsideration of the Winner-Take-All Hypothesis: Complex Networks and Local Bias," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(12), pages 1838-1848, December.
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