Complementarity, Coordination and Compatibility: The Role of Fixed Costs in the Economics of Systems
We analyze industry equilibrium and incentive to compatibility when goods produced by different producers generate utility only when consumed as component parts of a system. We assume the presence of two systems, each composed of some basic component and a set of differentiated complementary products. The combination of complementarity between the two components of the system and of fixed costs in the production of the complementary product results in a form of network effect. We focus on the role played by the size of the fixed costs in the production of the complementary products in determining the size of this system effect and, by this means, the structure and types of equilibria that may be observed: monopolistic or duopolistic, symmetric or asymmetric. We also highlight the consequence of the same fixed costs for the private and social incentives to render the systems compatible.
|Date of creation:||11 Aug 1995|
|Date of revision:||14 Aug 1995|
|Note:||30 pages. This is a considerably revised version of Working Paper 9209, Departement des sciences economiques, Universite du Quebec a Montreal.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
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