Olson’s Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Analysis of Incentives to Contribute in P2P File-sharing Communities
AbstractThis article aims to examine how the size of file-sharing communities affects their functioning and performance (i.e. their capacity to share content). Olson (1965) argued that small communities are more able to provide collective goods. Using an original database on BitTorrent file-sharing communities, our article finds a positive relationship between the size of a community and the amount of collective goods provided. But, the individual incentives to contribute slightly decrease with community size. These results seem to indicate that Peer to Peer file-sharing communities provide a pure (non rival) public good. We also show that specialized communities are more efficient than general communities to promote cooperative behavior. Finally, the rules designed by the administrators of these communities play an active role to manage voluntary contributions and improve file-sharing performance.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) with number 201105.
Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Postal: CREM (UMR CNRS 6211) - Faculty of Economics, 7 place Hoche, 35065 Rennes Cedex - France
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-09-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-IPR-2011-09-05 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-SOC-2011-09-05 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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