American Economic Review: Vol. 104 No. 5 (May 2014)

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Mobile Computing: The Next Platform Rivalry

Article Citation

Bresnahan, Timothy, and Shane Greenstein. 2014. "Mobile Computing: The Next Platform Rivalry." American Economic Review, 104(5): 475-80.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.475

Abstract

Competition to become one of several dominant mobile platforms is intense. Platforms compete for developers, who create applications which make the platform valuable for users. Why doesn't one form of platform governance emerge as superior? This essay will stress the reasons for differentiation and proposes a new argument linked to a platform's "hierarchy." Hierarchical governance features can help at one moment but then get in the way at a later time. These arguments are illustrated by different approaches to platform governance taken by the major mobile platform sponsors of recent years.

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Authors

Bresnahan, Timothy (Stanford U)
Greenstein, Shane (Northwestern U)

JEL Classifications

L86: Information and Internet Services; Computer Software


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