Network Effects and Legal Citation: How Antitrust Theory Predicts Who Will Build a Better Bluebook Mousetrap in the Age of Electronic Mice
46 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2005 Last revised: 31 Jan 2023
Date Written: 2002
As the Seventeenth Edition of the Bluebook is published and forced to compete with the ALWD Citation Manual, this article analyzes how the Bluebook has sustained its monopoly in the legal citation market, compares the Seventeenth Edition with the ALWD manual, and predicts whether the ALWD manual will be able to make an inroads into the legal citation market. The author describes the Bluebook monopoly as one created and maintained by network effects. In layman's terms, a network effect exists when the value of a product to a user increases with each new user of that product. Once a network dominance is established, any would-be challenger in a network industry will have significantly high barriers to entry.
Keywords: Bluebook, ALWD Citation Manual, legal citation, network effects, monopoly
JEL Classification: D42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation