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Bug-Fixing and Code-Writing: The Private Provision of Open Source Software

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  • http://www.asb.dk/omos/institutter/departmentofeconomics/
  • Department of Management
  • International Economic Integration
Open source software (OSS) is a public good. A self-interested individual would consider providing OSS if the benefits to be gained from it justify the cost of programming. Nevertheless, each agent is tempted to free-ride and wait for others to develop the software instead. We model this problem as a war of attrition with complete information, job signaling, repeated contribution to the public good and uncertainty in programming. The resulting game does not feature any delay; software will be provided swiftly, by young, low-cost individuals who gain from signaling their programming skills. The startup (and collapse) of an OSS project displays bandwagon dynamics
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Economics and Policy
Pages (from-to)389-406
Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Research areas

  • open source software, war of attrition, public goods

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