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The Effect of Project Types and Technologies on Software Developers' Efforts

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  • Byung Cho Kim

    ()
    (Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech)

  • Dongryul Lee

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Virginia Tech)

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    Abstract

    Considering intrinsic valuation of software developers as the main motive for participating in open source projects, we examine the (Nash) equilibrium effort levels of the software developers in implementing projects that follow one of the three different technologies: the summation, the weakest-link, and the best-shot. Under the summation technology, developers having higher intrinsic valuation exert more effort in open source projects but all developers in commercial projects expend the same effort. Under the weakest-link technology, regardless of the types of the projects, all developers exert the same effort at equilibrium. In open source projects, the developer with the lowest intrinsic valuation has a crucial role in determining the equilibrium effort level while, in case of commercial projects, the equilibrium effort level is bounded by the net wage. Finally, under the best-shot technology, only one developer makes serious effort and the others free ride in both open source and commercial projects.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 1796-1804

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    Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-09-00363

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    Related research

    Keywords: Open Source Software; Intrinsic Motivation; Software Economics; Game Theory;

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    References

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    1. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
    2. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
    3. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    4. Tim Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Sonali K. Shah, 2006. "Motivation, Governance, and the Viability of Hybrid Forms in Open Source Software Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1000-1014, July.
    6. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
    7. Lakhani, Karim R. & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "How open source software works: "free" user-to-user assistance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 923-943, June.
    8. Franke, Nikolaus & Hippel, Eric von, 2003. "Satisfying heterogeneous user needs via innovation toolkits: the case of Apache security software," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1199-1215, July.
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