The Fable of the Keys

  title={The Fable of the Keys},
  author={S. Liebowitz and S. Margolis},
  journal={The Journal of Law and Economics},
  pages={1 - 25}
  • S. Liebowitz, S. Margolis
  • Published 1990
  • Sociology
  • The Journal of Law and Economics
  • This paper examines the history of the QWERTY typewriter keyboard, often put forward as the archetypical case of markets choosing the wrong standard. Contrary to the claims made by Paul David and Brian Arthur, we find virtually no evidence to support a view that QWERTY is inferior to DVORAK. Instead, using records of typing experiments, studies by ergonomicists, and examining the historical record of competition among different keyboard designs back when QWERTY first became dominant, we… CONTINUE READING
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