This paper examines the nature of first-mover advantages in the deployment of spatially differentiated surface transport networks. A number of factors explaining the existence of first-mover advantages have been identified in the literature; however, the questions of whether these factors exist in spatial networks, and of how they play out with true capital immobility have remained unanswered. By examining empirical examples of commuter rail and the Underground in London, first-mover advantage is observed and its sources explored. A model of network diffusion is then constructed to replicate the growth of surface transport networks, making it possible to analyze first-mover advantage in a controlled environment. Simulation experiments are conducted, and Spearman rank correlation tests reveal that first-mover advantages can exist in a surface transport network and can become increasingly prominent as the network expands. In addition, the analysis discloses that the extent of first-mover advantages may relate to the initial land use distribution and network redundancy. The sensitivity of simulation results to model parameters are also examined.
Levinson, David; Xie, Feng.
Does first last? The existence and extent of first mover advantages on spatial networks.
Journal of Transport and Land Use.
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