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Evolving Technologies and Standards Regulation

Authors: Cabral, Luis
Salant, David
Issue Date: Apr-2008
Series/Report no.: EC-08-16
Abstract: Spectrum regulation necessarily involves some regulation of the technology that licensees can use. One commonly stated assertion is that a mandated single standard, the solution followed by the EU for 2G wireless, is a successful model for spectrum regulation. We argue that a single standard leads to a free riding problem, and thus to a significant decrease in marginal incentives for R&D investment. In this context, keeping two separate standards may be a necessary evil to sustain a high level of R&D expenditures. We also provide conditions such that a non-standardization equilibrium is better for consumers and for society as a whole.
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers

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