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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 research review 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.

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Research Reviews

This authoritative research review brings together the most significant scholarship on intellectual property. It provides comprehensive coverage, with a mix of theory, empirics and institutional details. The emphasis is on more recent writings, although it also includes some early work that continues to provide the platform for contemporary scholarship.

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Research Reviews