Why open source software can succeed
AbstractThe paper discusses three key economic problems raised by the emergence and diffusion of Open source software: motivation, coordination, and diffusion under a dominant standard. First, the movement took off through the activity of a software development community that deliberately did not follow profit motivations. Second, a hierarchical coordination emerged without the support of an organization with proprietary rights. Third, Linux and other open source systems diffused in an environment dominated by established proprietary standards, which benefited from significant increasing returns. The paper shows that recent developments in the theory of critical mass in the diffusion of technologies with network externality may help to explain these phenomena.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2002/15.
Date of creation: 19 Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Open Source; Diffusion; Network Externality.;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-11-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-IND-2002-11-28 (Industrial Organization)
- NEP-TID-2002-11-28 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
- Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
- Witt, Ulrich, 1997. ""Lock-in" vs. "critical masses" -- Industrial change under network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 753-773, October.
- Deng, Feng, 2008. "What Is “Open”? An Economic Analysis of Open Institutions," MPRA Paper 8888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Pénin, Julien & Wack, Jean-Pierre, 2008. "Research tool patents and free-libre biotechnology: A suggested unified framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1909-1921, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.