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The Bucket Brigade Pricing And Network Externalities In Peer-To-Peer Communications Networks

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  • Sam Chandan

    () (School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Christiaan Hogendorn

    () (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

This Paper analyzes the pric ing of transit traffic in wireless peer-to-peer networks using the concepts of direct and indirect network externalities. We first establish that without any pricing mechanism, congestion externalities overwhelm other network effects in a wireless data network. We show that peering technology will mitigate the congestion and allow users to take advantage of more the positive network externalities. However, without pricing, the peering equilibrium breaks down just like a bucket brigade made up of free-riding agents. With pricing and perfect competition, a peering equilibrium is possible and allows many more users on the network at the same time. However, the congestion externality is still a problem, so peering organized through a club may be the best solution.

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Chandan & Christiaan Hogendorn, 2001. "The Bucket Brigade Pricing And Network Externalities In Peer-To-Peer Communications Networks," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2001-001, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2001-001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
    2. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
    3. Economides, Nicholas & Salop, Steven C, 1992. "Competition and Integration among Complements, and Network Market Structure," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 105-123, March.
    4. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
    5. Nicholas Economides & Fredrick Flyer, 1997. "Compatibility and Market Structure for Network Goods," Working Papers 98-02, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
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