IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

If not for money for what? Digging into the OS/FS contributors’ motivations


  • Graziella Marzi



This paper analyses the data collected by two of the most significant surveys on the Open Source Software (OSS) contributors’ motivations with the aim of assessing if in the OSS products circulation we can recognise the characteristics of the modern way of giving, suggested by Godbout (2000). The analysis of the information collected seems to confirm that the intrinsic motivations (social/community and political) prevail over the extrinsic ones (monetary and signalling) when developers decide to join and stay in the OS community and that the feeling of reciprocity is shared by the majority of the community members. Therefore the OSS product circulation seems to fit into the characteristics of the gift circulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Graziella Marzi, 2009. "If not for money for what? Digging into the OS/FS contributors’ motivations," Working Papers 166, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:166

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2009
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
    2. Graziella Marzi, 2007. "Some Policy Issues on Open Source and Proprietary Software," Working Papers 133, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2007.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2007. "Patents and patent policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 568-587, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dorota Celińska, 2016. "Who is forked on GitHub? Collaboration among Open Source developers," Working Papers 2016-15, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item


    open source software; reciprocity; gift economy;

    JEL classification:

    • L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:166. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Matteo Pelagatti). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.