Standard Setting Committees: Consensus Governance for Shared Technology Platforms

51 Pages Posted: 4 May 2006 Last revised: 29 Jul 2014

See all articles by Timothy Simcoe

Timothy Simcoe

Boston University - Questrom School of Business; NBER

Date Written: June 11, 2010

Abstract

Voluntary Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) use a consensus process to create new compatibility standards. Practitioners have suggested that SSOs are increasingly "politicized" and perhaps incapable of producing timely standards. This paper develops a simple model of standard setting committees and tests its predictions using data from the Internet Engineering Task Force, an SSO that produces many of the standards used to run the Internet. The results show that an observed slowdown in standards production between 1993 and 2003 can be linked to distributional conflicts created by the rapid commercialization of the Internet.

Keywords: Standards, Compatibility, Comittee, Internet

JEL Classification: D71, O3, L44, L63

Suggested Citation

Simcoe, Timothy S., Standard Setting Committees: Consensus Governance for Shared Technology Platforms (June 11, 2010). American Economic Review, 102(1): 305–336, February 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=899595 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.899595

Timothy S. Simcoe (Contact Author)

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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