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Private Provision of a Complementary Public Good

  • Richard Schmidtke
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    For several years, an increasing number of firms have been investing in Open Source Software (OSS). While improvements in such a non-excludable public good cannot be appropriated, companies can benefit indirectly in a complementary proprietary segment. We study this incentive for investment in OSS. In particular we ask how (1) market entry and (2) public investments in the public good affect the firms' production and profits. Surprisingly, we find that there exist cases where incumbents benefit from market entry. Moreover, we show the counter-intuitive result that public spending does not necessarily lead to a decreasing voluntary private contribution.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2006/wp-cesifo-2006-07/cesifo1_wp1756.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1756.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1756
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    1. Justin Pappas Johnson, 2002. "Open Source Software: Private Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 637-662, December.
    2. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
    3. Schmidt, Klaus M. & Schnitzer, Monika, 2003. "Public Subsidies for Open Source? Some Economic Policy Issues of the Software Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 3793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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