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Path Dependence and Lock-In

Edited by Stan J. Liebowitz, Ashbel Smith Professor of Managerial Economics, University of Texas, Dallas, US and Stephen E. Margolis, Professor of Economics, North Carolina State University, US
Since their first emergence in the work of Paul David thirty years ago, the dual issues of Path Dependence and Lock-In have become critically important subjects in the fields of economics, sociology, and business strategy. Theoretical and public policy debates on these issues have arisen, addressing whether markets consistently choose the best products. This collection presents each side of the debate, bringing together key publications that initiated this literature with the later works that criticize or defend many of the early claims. Both the theoretical and empirical foundations of Path Dependence and Lock-In are examined along with the role of network effects. An original introduction by the editors is included to situate each article in its wider context.
Extent: 784 pp
Hardback Price: $413.00 Web: $371.70
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78254 554 5
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economics of Innovation
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Economics of Innovation
Since their first emergence in the work of Paul David thirty years ago, the dual issues of Path Dependence and Lock-In have become critically important subjects in the fields of economics, sociology, and business strategy. Theoretical and public policy debates on these issues have arisen, addressing whether markets consistently choose the best products. This collection presents each side of the debate, bringing together key publications that initiated this literature with the later works that criticize or defend many of the early claims. Both the theoretical and empirical foundations of Path Dependence and Lock-In are examined along with the role of network effects. An original introduction by the editors is included to situate each article in its wider context.
38 articles, dating from 1985 to 2013
Contributors include: B. Arthur, P. David, J. Farrell, M. Katz, J. Morgan, P. Pierson, G. Saloner, C. Shapiro, G.J. Tellis, G. Tullock
Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis

PART I PATH DEPENDENCE AND LOCK-IN PROPOSED
1. Paul A. David (1985), ‘Clio and the Economics of QWERTY’
2. W. Brian Arthur (1989), ‘Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-in by Historical Events’
3. W. Brian Arthur (1990), ‘Positive Feedbacks in the Economy’

PART II LOCK-IN QUESTIONED AND PATH DEPENDENCE REFINED
4. S.J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis (1990), ‘The Fable of the Keys’
5. S.J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis (1995), ‘Path Dependence, Lock-in and History’

PART III THE ROLE OF NETWORK EXTERNALITIES (OR IS THAT NETWORK EFFECTS?) IN PATH DEPENDENCE
6. Michael L. Katz and Carl Shapiro (1986), ‘Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities’
7. Joseph Farrell and Garth Saloner (1985), ‘Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation’
8. S.J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis (1995) ‘Are Network Externalities a New Source of Market Failure’

PART IV OTHER EXAMPLES
9. Va Nee L. Van Vleck (1997), ‘Delivering Coal by Road and Rail in Britain: The Efficiency of the “Silly Little Bobtailed” Coal Wagons’
10. Peter Scott (1999), ‘The Efficiency of Britain’s “Silly Little Bobtailed” Coal Wagons: A Comment on Van Vleck’
11. Va Nee L. Van Vleck (1999), ‘In Defense (Again) of “Silly Little Bobtailed” Coal Wagons: Reply to Peter Scott’
12. Larry E. Ribstein and Bruce H. Kobayashi (2001), ‘Choice of Form and Network Externalities’
13. Douglas J. Puffert (2000), ‘The Standardization of Track Gauge on North American Railways, 1830–1890’
14. Gary D. Libecap (2009), ‘Second Degree Path Dependence: Information Costs, Political Objectives and Inappropriate Small-Farm Settlement of the North American Great Plains’

PART V THE (MIS)USE OF THESE THEORIES IN POLICY: THE MICROSOFT ANTITRUST CASE
15. Memorandum of Amici Curiae in Opposition to Proposed Final Judgment (1995), United States of America v. Microsoft Corporation, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
16. Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis (1995), ‘Don’t Handcuff Technology’
17. Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis (1999), ‘Using Software Markets to Test These Theories’
18. Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis (1999), ‘Major Markets – Spreadsheets and Word Processors’
19. Gerard J. Tellis, Eden Yin and Rakesh Niraj (2009), ‘Does Quality Win? Network Effects Versus Quality in High-Tech Markets’
20. William H. Page (2010), ‘Microsoft and the Limits of Antitrust’

PART VI THE LONG-SIMMERING PATH DEPENDENCE/LOCK-IN DEBATE: BURDENS OF PROOF, SCIENTIFIC METHOD
21. Paul A. David (2001), ‘Path Dependence, its Critics and the Quest for Historical Economics’
22. Paul A. David (2007), ‘Path Dependence: A Foundational Concept for Historical Social Science’
23. Peter Lewin (2001), ‘The Market Process and the Economics of QWERTY: Two Views’
24. Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis (2013), ‘The Troubled Path of the Lock-in Movement’

PART VII RECENT TESTS, NEW DEFINITIONS AND FURTHER RESOLUTION ON QWERTY
25. Neil M. Kay (2013), ‘Rerun the Tape of History and QWERTY Always Wins’
26. W. Brian Arthur (2013), ‘Comment on Neil Kay’s Paper – “Rerun the Tape of History and QWERTY Always Wins”’
27. Stephen E. Margolis (2013), ‘A Tip of the Hat to Kay and QWERTY’
28. Jean-Philippe Vergne (2013), ‘QWERTY is Dead; Long Live Path Dependence’
29. Neil M. Kay (2013), ‘Rerun the Tape of History and QWERTY always Wins: Response to Arthur, Margolis and Vergne’
30. Scott E. Page (2006), ‘Path Dependence’
31. Tanjim Hossain and John Morgan (2009), ‘The Quest for QWERTY’
32. Tanjim Hossain, Dylan Minor and John Morgan (2011), ‘Competing Matchmakers: An Experimental Analysis

PART VIII PATH DEPENDENCE IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
33. Gordon Tullock (1975), ‘The Transitional Gains Trap’
34. Stephen Coate and Stephen Morris (1999), ‘Policy Persistence’
35. Robin Cowan (1990), ‘Nuclear Power Reactors: A Study in Technological Lock-in’

PART IX PATH DEPENDENCE SCHOLARSHIP IN OTHER DISCIPLINES
36. Paul Pierson (2000), ‘Increasing Returns, Path Dependence and the Study of Politics’
37. James Mahoney (2000), ‘Path Dependence in Historical Sociology’
38. Mark J. Roe (1996), ‘Chaos and Evolution in Law and Economics’