Open Source Software

Justin Johnson

in The Oxford Handbook of the Digital Economy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195397840
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Open Source Software

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  • Economic Development and Growth



This article explains the economics of open source (OS). It provides a selective survey and suggests what current issues of relevance to open source software (OSS) and OS platforms are, and what future research might investigate. OSS is software that is released under very specific licenses, which are planned to enforce particular constraints on how the software can be used and modified. It may be very difficult to successfully adopt the best practices of OS within a proprietary organization. There are a number of theoretical reasons why OS may perform better than closed source. Restricting the applications available on a rival platform may decrease variety and raise prices, although one cannot rule out that having a single dominant platform could be more efficient, due to network effects.

Keywords: open source software; economics; proprietary organization; closed source; prices; platform

Article.  12883 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Economic Development and Growth

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