Some Simple Economics of Open Source
University of Toulouse 1 - Industrial Economic Institute (IDEI); University of Toulouse 1 - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Mathématique et Quantitative (GREMAQ); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Harvard Business School - Finance Unit; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 50, No. 2, pp. 197-234, June 2002
There has been a recent surge of interest in open source software development, which involves developers at many different locations and organizations sharing code to develop and refine programs. To an economist, the behavior of individual programmers and commercial companies engaged in open source projects is initially startling. This paper makes a preliminary exploration of the economics of open source software. We highlight the extent to which labor economics, especially the literature on 'career concerns', and industrial organization theory can explain many of these projects' features. We conclude by listing interesting research questions related to open source software.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Date posted: November 14, 2002