The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Multi-sided Platforms

  • David S. Evans
  • Richard Schmalensee
Reference work entry


This essay provides an overview of the basic economics literature on multi-sided platforms, focusing on ways in which they businesses differ from ordinary single-sided businesses. Distinctive aspects of startup, pricing, welfare analysis, and competition are discussed.

Multi-sided platforms reduce transactions costs and thereby facilitate value-creating interactions between two or more different types of economic agents.


Platform Multi-sided Two-sided Network Externality Network effects Critical mass 

JEL Codes

D40 L10 L19 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Market Platform DynamicsBostonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Robert Picard

There are no affiliations available