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Open Source Software Development, Innovation, and Coordination Costs

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  • Thierry Warin

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  • Jean-Philippe Bonardi

Abstract

Open source is often presented as a very promising governance structure for the development of software in the Internet world. One of its greatest advantages is that it enables and integrates the flow of innovation coming from many unrelated developers. We extend previous inquiries by showing that, due to information communication problems, this governance structure is in fact more efficient for the development of incremental innovations rather than radical innovations. Implications are drawn in terms of the future of the open source system, the economics of innovation and public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Warin & Jean-Philippe Bonardi, 2007. "Open Source Software Development, Innovation, and Coordination Costs," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0701, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0701
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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0701.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
    3. West, Joel, 2003. "How open is open enough?: Melding proprietary and open source platform strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1259-1285, July.
    4. Dalle, Jean-Michel & Jullien, Nicolas, 2003. "'Libre' software: turning fads into institutions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-11, January.
    5. Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Underinvestment and Incompetence as Responses to Radical Innovation: Evidence from the Photolithographic Alignment Equipment Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 248-270, Summer.
    6. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
    9. Lakhani, Karim R. & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "How open source software works: "free" user-to-user assistance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 923-943, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Warin Thierry & Blakely Andrew, 2012. "Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-32, June.

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