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Open Source Development in a Differentiated Duopoly


  • Stephane Verani

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Western Australia)


Open source software is released under an open source license giving individuals the right to use, modify, and redistribute freely the programs. This paper proposes a model of differentiated duopoly in which firms invest in the development of proprietary or open source software. The main findings are: (i) firms invest more when the products are substitutes; (ii) for substitute products, firms’ investment in software development is greatest when the software is open source; (iii) for close to perfect complements, firms’ investment in software development is greatest when the software is proprietary; and (iv) for substitute products, investment in open source software yields higher profits than investment in proprietary software.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephane Verani, 2006. "Open Source Development in a Differentiated Duopoly," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 06-05, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwa:wpaper:06-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Josh Lerner, 2005. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 20-56, April.
    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. 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.
    4. Amir, Rabah & Wooders, John, 2000. "One-Way Spillovers, Endogenous Innovator/Imitator Roles, and Research Joint Ventures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-25, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Alexandre Gaudeul, 2004. "Competition between open-source and proprietary software: the (La)TeX case study," Industrial Organization 0409007, EconWPA.
    7. Richard J. Gilbert & Michael L. Katz, 2001. "An Economist's Guide to U.S. v. Microsoft," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
    8. Hackner, Jonas, 2000. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 233-239, August.
    9. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian von Engelhardt, 2010. "Quality Competition or Quality Cooperation? License-Type and the Strategic Nature of Open Source vs. Closed Source Business Models," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-034, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

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