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The Evolution of Open Source Communities

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  • Gutsche Joerg

    () (University of Mannheim)

Abstract

A growing body of literature has succeeded in explaining the economics of existing open source communities. However, the question why such communities come into existence has so far not been answered satisfactorily. This paper addresses this question with an evolutionary model: software developers repeatedly decide whether to use an open source or a proprietary license using boundedly rational decision rules. We analyze the resulting stochastic process and provide conditions under which open source licensing is the only long-run outcome that is stable to perturbations. It turns out that these conditions coincide with important stylized facts about thriving open source communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Gutsche Joerg, 2005. "The Evolution of Open Source Communities," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.5:y:2005:i:1:n:2
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank A.G. den Butter & Stefan P.T. Groot & Faroek Lazrak, 2007. "The Transaction Costs Perspective on Standards as a Source of Trade and Productivity Growth," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-090/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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