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L'économie du logiciel libre. Organisation coopérative et incitation à l'innovation


  • Dominique Foray
  • Jean-Benoît Zimmermann


An open source software is defined by the availability of its source-code that cannot be privately appropriated. Its production is based on a special cooperative organisation mode, called the “bazaar”, which functions particularly well in the context of Internet. Its functional viability till now was related to the fact that the users and developers of these software products considered themselves in the same category of actors. Today, open source software is entering the market and the existing form of organisation can now be the source of profits. The model’s viability is related to its ability to sustain a high level of innovation. Hence, it depends on individual incentives to participate, and public spiritedness can no longer be relied upon as an effective substitute. Classification JEL : D23, H41, L86, O31, O34

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique Foray & Jean-Benoît Zimmermann, 2001. "L'économie du logiciel libre. Organisation coopérative et incitation à l'innovation," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 52(7), pages 77-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_527_0077

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deniz Yuret & Ayla Ogus & Michael de la Maza, 1999. "Modeling the Economics of Internet Companies," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 152, Society for Computational Economics.
    2. Nicolas Curien & Emmanuelle Fauchart & Gilbert Laffond & Jean Lainé & Jacques Lesourne & François Moreau, 2001. "Forums de consommation sur Internet. Un modèle évolutionniste," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 52(1), pages 119-135.
    3. Erik Brynjolfsson & Michael D. Smith, 2000. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 563-585, April.
    4. Eric Brousseau, 2000. "What Institutions To Organize Electronic Commerce?: Private Institutions And The Organization Of Markets," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 245-274.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2004. "Decoding the "Free/Open Source(F/OSS) Software Puzzle" a survey of theoretical and empirical contributions," Department of Economics University of Siena 424, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Marie Coris & Yannick Lung, 2005. "Les communautés virtuelles : la coordination sans proximité ? Les fondements de la coopération au sein des communautés du logiciel libre," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Armand Colin, vol. 0(3), pages 397-420.
    3. Patrick Cohendet & Matthieu Farcot & Julien Pénin, 2009. "Intellectual property in a knowledge-based economy : Patents to include vs. patents to exclude," Working Papers of BETA 2009-15, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    4. Widad Guechtouli, 2014. "Agent-based modeling of knowledge transfer within social networks," Working Papers 2014-148, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    5. Masmoudi, Héla, 2011. "La résolution distribuée dans les communautés Open Source : propriétés organisationnelles et modes de coordination," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/10709 edited by Dalle, Jean-Michel, April.
    6. Gauguier, Jean-Jacques, 2009. "L’industrialisation de l’Open Source," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/4388 edited by Toledano, Joëlle, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital


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