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Compatibility, Intellectual Property,Innovation and Welfare in Durable Goods Markets with Network Effects

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  • Athanasopoulos, Thanos

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper analyses firms’ behaviour towards compatibility and the relation of these decisions with their incentives to invest into improving their durable, network goods. By using a sequential game where the dominant firm plays first, we give its competitor the ability to build on innovations previously introduced by the market leader. Recognizing the intertemporal linkage in forward looking customers’purchasing choices, we find that in anticipation of a relatively large quality improvement by the rival, strategic pricing leads the dominant firm to support compatibility even if it could exclude its rivals by using a patent for its invention. Furthermore, not only doesn’t interoperability de-facto maximise social welfare but we also identify no market failure when network effects are not particularly strong. JEL classification: D43 ; L13 ; D71 ; D62 ; L15 ; L4 ; K21 ; L51 ; O34 ; O31

Suggested Citation

  • Athanasopoulos, Thanos, 2014. "Compatibility, Intellectual Property,Innovation and Welfare in Durable Goods Markets with Network Effects," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1043, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1043
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    File URL: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2014/twerp_1043b_athanasopoulos.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 70-83, Spring.
    2. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Patrick Rey & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Network Competition: I. Overview and Nondiscriminatory Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 1-37, Spring.
    3. Nicholas Economides, 2006. "Public Policy in Network Industries," Working Papers 06-17, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    4. Jeffrey Church & Neil Gandal, 2000. "Systems Competition, Vertical Merger, and Foreclosure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 25-51, March.
    5. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
    6. Doganoglu, Toker & Wright, Julian, 2006. "Multihoming and compatibility," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 45-67, January.
    7. María Fernanda Viecens, 2009. "Compatibility with Firm Dominance," Working Papers 2009-12, FEDEA.
    8. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
    9. Athanasopoulos, Thanos, "undated". "Efficient Upgrading in Network Goods : Is Commitment Always Good?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1006, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    10. Jiawei Chen & Ulrich Doraszelski & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2009. "Avoiding market dominance: product compatibility in markets with network effects," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 455-485.
    11. James Bessen & Eric Maskin, 2009. "Sequential innovation, patents, and imitation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 611-635.
    12. Michael Carter & Julian Wright, 2003. "Asymmetric Network Interconnection," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 22(1), pages 27-46, February.
    13. Economides, Nicholas & White, Lawrence J., 1994. "Networks and compatibility: Implications for antitrust," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 651-662, April.
    14. Cremer, Jacques & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2000. "Connectivity in the Commercial Internet," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 433-472, December.
    15. Cabral, Luís & Salant, David, 2014. "Evolving technologies and standards regulation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 48-56.
    16. Michael Manove & Gerard Llobet, 2004. "Sequential Innovation, Network Effects and the Choice of Compatibility," 2004 Meeting Papers 721, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. David A. Malueg & Marius Schwartz, 2006. "COMPATIBILITY INCENTIVES OF A LARGE NETWORK FACING MULTIPLE RIVALS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 527-567, December.
    18. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg, 2000. "The Neo-Luddite's Lament: Excessive Upgrades in the Software Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 253-272, Summer.
    19. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Athanasopoulos, Thanos, 2014. "Incentives to Innovate, Compatibility and Efficiency in Durable Goods Markets with Network Effects," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1054, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firms ; Pricing ; Compatibility ; Innovation ; Technological Change ; Intellectual Property Rights ; Antitrust Law ; Competition ; Externalities ; Product Durability ; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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