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Adoptions and Orphans in the Early Microcomputer Market

  • Neil Gandal

    (Tel Aviv University)

  • Shane Greenstein

    (University of Illinois)

  • David Salant

    (GTE Laboratories)

In this paper we develop a model with (1) differentiated consumers, (2) endogenous adoption times, (3) technical uncertainty, and (4) alternative technologies sponsored by competing vendors. We identify conditions under which orphaning arises endogenously in a framework of dynamic competition. We then use the model to examine the development of the micro-computer market in the early 1980s, when the orphaning of a widely-adopted operating system occurred. We find that the data characterizing this event are consistent with our theoretical framework.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 9502002.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 23 Feb 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9502002
Note: 37 pages LateX file, plus 4 figures in separate postscript file. To request a hard copy, send e-mail to Stella Padeh, Foerder Institute of Economic Research (foerder@ccsg.tau.ac.il)
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  1. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1986. "Installed Base and Compatibility, With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 411, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Greenstein, Shane, 1999. "Technological Competition and the Structure of the Computer Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 1-40, March.
  3. Church, J. & Gandal, N., 1991. "Complementary Network Externalities and Technological Adoption," Papers 5-91, Tel Aviv.
  4. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1992. "Product Introduction with Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 55-83, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Chou, Chien-fu & Shy, Oz, 1990. "Network effects without network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-270, June.
  7. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  8. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
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