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Competition and Innovation in a Technology Setting Software Duopoly


  • Jürgen Bitzer
  • Philipp J. H. Schröder


Recently the software industry has experienced fundamental changes in market structure through the entry of open source competitors, e.g. Linux's entry into the operating systems market. In a simple model we examine the effects of such a change in market structure from monopoly to duopoly under the assumption that software producers compete in technology rather than price or quantities. The model includes the presence of technological progress and menu costs of adjusting existing software, i.e. innovation. It is found that: (i) moving from monopoly to duopoly does increase the technology level set by firms in the software industry; (ii) a duopoly adjusts more readily to global technological progress than a monopolist. Furthermore, results are presented comparing open source versus for-profit firms in terms of technology levels and innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Bitzer & Philipp J. H. Schröder, 2003. "Competition and Innovation in a Technology Setting Software Duopoly," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 363, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp363

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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. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1987. "The Relative Rigidity of Monopoly Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 917-926, December.
    3. Bitzer, Jurgen & Schroder, Philipp J.H., 2005. "Bug-fixing and code-writing: The private provision of open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 389-406, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicholas Economides & Evangelos Katsamakas, 2006. "Two-Sided Competition of Proprietary vs. Open Source Technology Platforms and the Implications for the Software Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1057-1071, July.
    2. Bitzer, Jurgen, 2004. "Commercial versus open source software: the role of product heterogeneity in competition," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 369-381, December.
    3. repec:ste:nystbu:05-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Evangelos Katsamakas & Mingdi Xin, 2005. "An economic analysis of enterprise adoption of open source software," Working Papers 05-29, NET Institute, revised Oct 2005.
    5. Nicholas Economides & Evangelos Katsamakas, 2005. "Linux vs. Windows: A comparison of application and platform innovation incentives for open source and proprietary software platforms," Working Papers 05-07, NET Institute.

    More about this item


    open source software; strategic interaction; duopoly; menu costs;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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