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Journal Article

Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation

Joseph Farrell and Garth Saloner
The RAND Journal of Economics
Vol. 16, No. 1 (Spring, 1985), pp. 70-83
Published by: Wiley on behalf of RAND Corporation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2555589
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation
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Abstract

There are often benefits to consumers and to firms from standardization of a product. We examine whether these standardization benefits can "trap" an industry in an obsolete or inferior standard when there is a better alternative available. With complete information and identical preferences among firms the answer is no; but when information is incomplete this "excess inertia" can occur. We also discuss the extent to which the problem can be overcome by communication.

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