Network of Tinkerers: A Model of Open-Source Technology Innovation
AbstractAirplanes were invented by hobbyists and experimenters, and some personal computers were as well. Similarly, many open-source software developers are interested in the software they make, and not focused on profit. Based on these cases, this paper has a model of agents called tinkerers who want to improve a technology for their own reasons, by their own criteria, and who see no way to profit from it. Under these conditions, they would rather share their technology than work alone. The members of the agreement form an information network. The network's members optimally specialize based on their opportunities in particular aspects of the technology or in expanding or managing the network. Endogenously there are incentives to standardize on designs and descriptions of the technology. A tinkerer in the network who sees an opportunity to produce a profitable product may exit the network to create a startup firm and conduct focused research and development. Thus a new industry can arise.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 413.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Technological Change; Open Source Software; Uncertainty; Innovation; Invention; Collective Invention; Hackers; Hobbyists; Experimenters; Airplane;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O34 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property Rights
- N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-12-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-ICT-2007-12-08 (Information & Communication Technologies)
- NEP-INO-2007-12-08 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2007-12-08 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-NET-2007-12-08 (Network Economics)
- NEP-PPM-2007-12-08 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
- NEP-SOC-2007-12-08 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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