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Why Develop Open Source Software? The Role of Non-Pecuniary Benefits, Monetary Rewards and Open Source Licence Type

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  • Sauer, Robert M.

    ()
    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Abstract

A review of the basic theory of optimal open-source software contributions points to three key factors affecting supply: non-pecuniary benefits, future expected monetary returns, and open-source licence type. This paper argues that existing large-scale software developer surveys are inadequate for measuring the relative importance of these three factors. Moreover, previous econometric studies that collect their own unique datasets generally measure the importance of only one supply factor in isolation. To fill the gap, I specify a dynamic programming model of joint labour supply and open-source contribution decisions that can provide empirical estimates of relative importance within a single unified framework.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3197.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 2007, 23 (4), 605-619
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3197

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Keywords: open-source; labour supply; dynamic programming; software;

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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, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 637-662, December.
  2. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "The Solution and Estimation of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models by Simulation and Interpolation: Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 648-72, November.
  3. Henkel, Joachim, 2004. "The Jukebox Mode of Innovation - A Model of Commercial Open Source Development," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," IDEI Working Papers, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse 219, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. repec:reg:rpubli:168 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Chaim Fershtman & Neil Gandal, 2007. "Open source software: Motivation and restrictive licensing," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 209-225, August.
  8. Robert M. Sauer, 1998. "Job Mobility and the Market for Lawyers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 147-171, February.
  9. Stephen M. Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2006. "Open Source Software: The New Intellectual Property Paradigm," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 12148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Rossi, Cristina, 2003. "Why Open Source software can succeed," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1243-1258, July.
  11. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
  12. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 99-120, Spring.
  13. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
  14. Lakhani, Karim R. & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "How open source software works: "free" user-to-user assistance," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 923-943, June.
  15. Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
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