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A Survey of the Economic Role of Software Platforms in Computer-Based Industries

41 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2004  

David S. Evans

Global Economics Group; University College London

Richard Schmalensee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Andrei Hagiu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: October 2004

Abstract

Software platforms are a critical component of the computer systems, underpinning leading-edge products ranging from third-generation mobile phones to video games. After describing some key economic features of computer systems and software platforms, the paper presents case studies of personal computers, video games, personal digital assistants, smart mobile phones, and digital content devices. It then compares several economic aspects of these businesses including their industry evolution, pricing structures, and degrees of integration.

Keywords: software platforms, hardware platforms, network effects, bundling, multi-sided markets

JEL Classification: L11, L15, L8

Suggested Citation

Evans, David S. and Schmalensee, Richard and Hagiu, Andrei, A Survey of the Economic Role of Software Platforms in Computer-Based Industries (October 2004). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1314. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=618982

David S. Evans (Contact Author)

Global Economics Group ( email )

111 Devonshire St.
Suite 900
Boston, MA 02108
United States

University College London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Richard Schmalensee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

Room E62-525
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-2957 (Phone)
617-258-6617 (Fax)

Andrei Hagiu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management ( email )

MIT Sloan School of Management
100 Main Street, E62-313
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-715-4844 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://andreihagiu.com/

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