Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Economic Properties of Software

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sebastian von Engelhardt

    ()
    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

Software is a good with very special economic characteristics. Taking a general definition of software as its starting-point, this article  systematically elaborates the central qualities of the commodity which have implications for its production and cost structure, the demand, the contestability of software-markets, and the allocative efficiency. In this context it appears to be reasonable to subsume the various characteristics under the following generic terms: software as a means of data-processing, software as a system of commands or instructions, software as a recombinant system, software as a good which can only be used in discrete units, software as a complex system, and software as an intangible good. Evidently, software is characterized by a considerable number of economically relevant qualities—ranging from network effects to a subadditive cost function to nonrivalry. Particularly to emphasise is the fact that software fundamentally differs from other information goods: First, from a consumer’s perspective the readability and other aspects concerning how the information is presented, is irrelevant. Second, the average consumer/user is interested only in the funtionality of the algorithms but not in the underlying information.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/receive/jportal_jparticle_00101440
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2008-045.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 04 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2008-045

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Carl-Zeiss-Strasse 3, 07743 JENA
Phone: +049 3641/ 9 43000
Fax: +049 3641/ 9 43000
Web page: http://www.jenecon.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: digital goods; compatibility; information good; network effects; nonrivalry; open source; recombinability; software;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. User:Ajy019/sandbox in Wikipedia (English)
  2. User:Neilmeena in Wikipedia (English)
  3. Software in Wikipedia (English)
  4. Open source in Wikipedia (English)
  5. Portal:Freie Software/Literatur in Wikipedia (German)
  6. Perisian sumber terbuka in Wikipedia (Malay)
  7. Open-source software in Wikipedia (English)
  8. Software de código aberto in Wikipedia (Portuguese)
  9. オープンソースソフトウェア in Wikipedia (Japanese)

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2008-045. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Markus Pasche).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.