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The Economics of Free and Open Source Software: Contributions to a Government Policy on Open Source Software


  • Marcel Boyer
  • Jacques Robert


This document seeks to lay the groundwork for a government policy on free and open source software. We briefly characterize the extent of the open source software phenomenon. We analyse its pros and cons for the government, in its role as both an engine of economic development and a large user of information and communications technologies. We conclude with a series of recommendations for the government, as both economic and industrial policy maker and large user.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Boyer & Jacques Robert, 2006. "The Economics of Free and Open Source Software: Contributions to a Government Policy on Open Source Software," CIRANO Project Reports 2006rp-03, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirpro:2006rp-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
    2. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 99-120, Spring.
    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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    free software; intellectual property rights; free source code; open source code; free operating system; GPL licence; BSD licence; innovation; forking;

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