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The Economics of Networks

  • Nicholas Economides

    (Stern School of Business, New York University)

We analyze the salient features of networks and point out the similarities between the economic structure of networks and the structure of vertically related industries. The analysis focuses on positive consumption and production externalities, commonly called network externalities. We discuss their sources and their effects on pricing and market structure. We distinguish between results that do not depend on the underlying industry microstructure (the "macro" approach) and those that do (the "micro" approach). We analyze the issues of compatibility, coordination to technical standards, interconnection and interoperability, and their effects on pricing and quality of services and on the value of network links in various ownership structures. We also briefly discuss the issue of interconnection fees for bottleneck facilities.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 9701002.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jan 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9701002
Note: Type of Document - PDF/PostScript; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP; pages: 37; figures: included/request from author/draw your own. Published in International Journal of Industrial Organization, vol. 16, no. 4
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Joseph Farrell and Garth Saloner., 1989. "Converters, Compatibility, and the Control of Interfaces," Economics Working Papers 89-130, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Shy, O. & Chou, C-F., 1990. "Partially Compatible Brands And Consumer Welfare," Papers 34-90, Tel Aviv.
  3. Nicholas Economides, 1994. "How to Enhance Market Liquidity," Working Papers 94-03, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  5. 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 105-23, March.
  6. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
  7. Bonanno, Giacomo & Vickers, John, 1988. "Vertical Separation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 257-65, March.
  8. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "Network Externalities, Complementarities, and Invitations to Enter," Industrial Organization 9701004, EconWPA.
  9. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1992. "Compatibility and Bundling of Complementary Goods in a Duopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 37-54, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Cabral, Luis M. B., 1990. "On the adoption of innovations with 'network' externalities," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 299-308, June.
  12. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
  13. De Bijl, Paul W. J. & Goyal, Sanjeev, 1995. "Technological change in markets with network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 307-325, September.
  14. Nicholas Economides & Robert A. Schwartz,, . "Equity Trading Practices and Market Structure: Assessing Asset Managers' Demand for Immediacy," Financial Networks 9508, Economics of Networks.
  15. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  16. Joseph Farrell and Garth Saloner., 1988. "Coordination through Committees and Markets," Economics Working Papers 8864, University of California at Berkeley.
  17. Matutes, Carmen & Regibeau, Pierre, 1989. "Standardization across Markets and Entry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 359-71, June.
  18. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
  19. 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.
  20. Dudey, Marc, 1990. "Competition by Choice: The Effect of Consumer Search on Firm Location Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1092-1104, December.
  21. Dybvig, Philip H. & Spatt, Chester S., 1983. "Adoption externalities as public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-247, March.
  22. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1992. "Product Introduction with Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 55-83, March.
  23. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Integration, Complementary Products, and Variety," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(4), pages 651-75, Winter.
  24. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  25. Economides, Nicholas & Siow, Aloysius, 1988. "The Division of Markets is Limited by the Extent of Liquidity (Spatial Competition with Externalities)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 108-21, March.
  26. Nicholas Economides, 1994. "Quality Choice and Vertical Integration," Working Papers 94-22, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  27. 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.
  28. Economides, Nicholas & White, Lawrence J., 1994. "Networks and compatibility: Implications for antitrust," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 651-662, April.
  29. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Desirability of Compatibility in the Absence of Network Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1165-81, December.
  30. Carmen Matutes & Pierre Regibeau, 1988. ""Mix and Match": Product Compatibility without Network Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 221-234, Summer.
  31. Nicholas S. Economides & Glenn A. Woroch, 1994. "Benefits and Pitfalls of Network Interconnection," Industrial Organization 9411005, EconWPA.
  32. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  33. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Product Compatibility Choice in a Market with Technological Progress," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 146-65, Suppl. No.
  34. Bental, Benjamin & Spiegel, Menahem, 1995. "Network Competition, Product Quality, and Market Coverage in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 197-208, June.
  35. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-40, June.
  36. Berg, Sanford V., 1988. "Duopoly compatibility standards with partial cooperation and standards leadership," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 35-53.
  37. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  38. Nicholas Economides & Charles Himmelberg, 1995. "Critical Mass and Network Size with Application to the US Fax Market," Working Papers 95-11, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  39. Nicholas Economides & Fredrick Flyer, 1995. "Technical Standards Coalitions for Network Goods," Working Papers 95-12, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  40. Garbade, Kenneth D & Silber, William L, 1979. "Structural Organization of Secondary Markets: Clearing Frequency, Dealer Activity and Liquidity Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(3), pages 577-93, June.
  41. White, L.J. & Economides, N., 1996. "The inefficiency of the ECPR Yet Again: A Reply to Larson," Working Papers 96-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  42. J. Gregory Sidak & William Baumol, 1994. "Toward Competition in Local Telephony," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 52984, 4.
  43. Garbade, Kenneth D & Silber, William L, 1976. "Price Dispersion in the Government Securities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 721-40, August.
  44. Encaoua, D. & Moreaux, M. & Perrot, A., 1992. "Demand-Side Network Effect in Airline Markets," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.28, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  45. Shmuel S. Oren & Stephen A. Smith, 1981. "Critical Mass and Tariff Structure in Electronic Communications Markets," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 467-487, Autumn.
  46. Nicholas Economides & Lawrence J. White, 1997. "Access and Interconnection Pricing: How Efficient is the Efficient Component Pricing Rule?," Industrial Organization 9701003, EconWPA.
  47. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
  48. Shy, O. & Chou, C-F., 1990. "Do Consumers Always Gain When More People Buy The Same Brand?," Papers 40-90, Tel Aviv.
  49. Nicholas Economides & William Lehr, 1994. "The Quality of Complex Systems and Industry Structure," Working Papers 94-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  50. Jeffrey Rohlfs, 1974. "A Theory of Interdependent Demand for a Communications Service," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(1), pages 16-37, Spring.
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