Technology Competitions and Standardization
Competitions among different ways of doing a particular task
often end with a single technique dominating the market. In fact,
this dominance often takes the form of a single technique being
the only one used. Competitions among video cassetter recorder
technologies, computer operating systems, automobile technologies
(internal combustion, steam and electric) are all examples of
technology competitions. The outcomes of these competitions are
often driven by increasing returns to adoption--as a technology
becomes more common, the net payoffs to using it increase.
Cowan, Robin and John H. Miller, "Technological
Standards with Local Externalities and Decentralized Behaviour"
Journal of Evolutionary Economics, vol 8(3), pp. 285-96, 1998.
Cowan, Robin and Philip Gunby, "Sprayed
to Death: Pest Control Strategies and Technological Lock-in",
Economic Journal , May, 1996, vol 106: 521-42.
This is available at JSTOR here.
Cowan, Robin and Staffan Hulten, "Escaping
Lock-In: The Case of the Electric Vehicle", Technological
Forecasting and Social Change, 1996.
The html version is missing the footnotes. The pdf version is complete.
Cowan, Robin. "Tortoises and Hares:
Choice Among Technologies of Unknown Merit" Economic
Journal, vol. 101, July, 1991. pp. 801-814
This is avialable at JSTOR, or directly here.
Cowan, Robin. "Nuclear Power Reactors:
A Study of Technological Lock-In" Journal of Economic
History, vol. 50, Sept, 1990 pp.541-566.
The html version is missing the footnotes. This is available through
Cowan, Robin. "High Technology
and the Economics of Standardization" in M. Dierkes and U.
Hoffman, eds. New Technology at the Outset: Social Forces
in the Shaping of Technological Innovation Frankfurt/Main:
Campus Verlag, 1992. pp. 279-300.
The html version is missing footnotes. The pdf version is complete.
Cowan, Robin. "Rendements croissants
d'adoption et politique technologique" in J. De Bandt and
D. Foray eds, Evaluation economique de la Recherche et du
Changement Technique Paris: Editions du Centre National
de la Recherche Scientifique, 1991. pp. 381-398.
Cowan, Robin. "Technological Competition
and Variety: Issues of Diffusion and Intervention", in G.
Bell, ed. Technology and Productivity: The Challenge for
Policy Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development, 1991. pp. 509-522.
Staffan Hulten, Ecole Centrale, Paris, Grande Voie des
Vignes, Chatenay-Malabry, France Stockholm School of Economics,
Gunby, Department of Economics, University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand
John H. Miller,
Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon Univeristy.
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