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Voluntary Pooled Public Knowledge Goods and Coalition Formation

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  • Tom DEDEURWAERDERE

    ()
    (FNRS and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN)

  • Paolo MELINDI GHIDI

    ()
    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN)

Abstract

In this paper we develop a theoretical model of the mechanisms behind the voluntary provision of public knowledge goods in coalitions in presence of social preferences. The model builds on the large empirical literature on voluntary production of pooled public knowledge goods, such as source code in communities of software developers or data voluntarily provided to open access data repositories. This literature shows that the provision of public goods is strongly dependent on the presence of social preferences such as group identity and social approval of individual pro-social attitudes. To integrate these effects in standard public good theory this paper builds a private-collective model of public good provision, where contribution to public knowledge goods generates both public and exclusive private benefits for the members of the coalition only. The analysis shows that, when the private benefit is important, the effect of the social preferences on the coalition formation is ambiguous. In particular, in the latter case, in presence of strong individual reputational effects, the public knowledge goods will be more difficult to produce. The comparison of the predictions of the theoretical model with the stylized facts of large scale surveys of Free/Libre/Open-Source (FLOSS) software developers confirms the results of the model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2013020.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 03 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013020

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Related research

Keywords: coalition formation; private-collective model; social group identity; pro-social reputation; public knowledge goods; social dilemma;

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  1. Justin Pappas Johnson, 2002. "Open Source Software: Private Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 637-662, December.
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  13. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  14. Vicary, Simon, 1997. "Joint production and the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 429-445, February.
  15. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-94, Supplemen.
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  17. Suurmond, Guido & Swank, Otto H. & Visser, Bauke, 2004. "On the bad reputation of reputational concerns," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2817-2838, December.
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