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Structural change in the presence of network externalities: a co-evolutionary model of technological successions

  • Windrum Paul
  • Birchenhall Chris

    (MERIT)

The paper examines the conditions under which technological successions can occur in the presence of network externalities. A two-stage, multi-agent simulation model is presented in which product designs co-evolve with consumer preferences. It provides a rich framework in which to study the complex phenomenon of quality. Following an initial period, in which old technology firms develop their designs and externalities accrue, a technological shock occurs. New technology firms and new consumer classes enter the market. Data from the simulation model is analysed by identifying a robust econometric model of the probability of succession, given the immediate state of the post-shock market. 4 factors affecting the probability of a succession are identified. First, succession can occur if gains in direct utility from higher quality new technology goods outweigh the network utility of old technology goods. Second, sailing ship effects are possible. Old firms can innovate in order to see off the new entrants. Hence, a better initial (new technology) design does not guarantee succession. Third, a trade-off exists between quality and price. A succession will not occur if cost (price) differentials favour the old technology. Consequently, increasing returns in production enjoyed by established firms are an important barrier to successful entry. The fourth factor is time: the relative length of time old firms have to develop their products, and that which new firms have to develop their products.

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File URL: http://digitalarchive.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fedora/objects/guid:21710d51-40a4-4a03-8d8d-d302a60bf3b6/datastreams/ASSET1/content
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series Research Memorandum with number 012.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamer:2004012
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  1. Malerba, Franco, et al, 1999. "'History-Friendly' Models of Industry Evolution: The Computer Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 3-40, March.
  2. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1984. "Standardization, Compatibility and Innovation," Working papers 345, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. 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 822-41, August.
  4. Windrum Paul, 2004. "Neo-Schumpeterian Simulation Models," Research Memorandum 002, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  5. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  6. Birchenhall, Chris R, et al, 1999. "Predicting U.S. Business-Cycle Regimes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(3), pages 313-23, July.
  7. M Sensier & M Artis & C R Birchenhall & D R Osborn, 2002. "Domestic and International Influences on Business Cycle Regimes in Europe," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0202, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  8. Blinder, Alan S, 1991. "Why Are Prices Sticky? Preliminary Results from an Interview Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 89-96, May.
  9. Chris R. Birchenhall & Marianne Sensier & Denise R. Osborn, 2000. "Predicting Uk Business Cycle Regimes," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 134, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Sin, Chor-Yiu & White, Halbert, 1996. "Information criteria for selecting possibly misspecified parametric models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 207-225.
  11. Shy, Oz, 1996. "Technology revolutions in the presence of network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 785-800, October.
  12. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
  13. Simon Hall & Mark Walsh & Anthony Yates, 1997. "How do UK companies set prices?," Bank of England working papers 67, Bank of England.
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