EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Software Innovation and the Open Source threat

German Lambardi ()
Additional contact information
German Lambardi: Toulouse School of Economics, http://www.tse-fr.eu/

No 09-15, Working Papers from NET Institute

Abstract: In this paper I study how innovation investment in a software duopoly is affected by the fact that one of the firms is, or might become Open Source. Firms can either be proprietary source (PS) or open source (OS) and have different initial technological levels. An OS firm is a for profit organization whose basic software is OS and it is distributed for free. The OS firm, however, is able to make profits from selling complementary software and, on the cost side, it receives development help from a community of users. I first compare a duopoly composed by two PS firms with a mixed duopoly of a PS and OS firm and I find that a PS duopoly might generate more innovation than a mixed duopoly if the initial technological gap between firms is small. However if this gap is large, a PS duopoly generates less innovation than a mixed duopoly. I then extend the setting to allow PS firms to switch to OS or to remain PS. A PS firm wants to become OS if it gets behind enough in the technological race against a competitor. I find that the outside option to become OS might soften competition on innovation since the technological leader prefers to reduce his innovation investment to avoid the OS switch of the follower. Therefore, although the switch to OS could generate higher investment levels ex-post it might generate lower investment ex-ante. In this context I find that a government subsidy to OS firms could be potentially harmful for innovation.

Keywords: Software Market; Open Source; Innovation Incentives (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L13 L17 O31 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2009-09, Revised 2009-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-ino, nep-ipr, nep-pr~ and nep-tid
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.netinst.org/Lambardi_09-15.pdf (application/pdf)
no

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:net:wpaper:0915

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from NET Institute
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Nicholas Economides ().

 
Page updated 2024-02-23
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0915