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Decoding the "Free/Open Source(F/OSS) Software Puzzle" a survey of theoretical and empirical contributions

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  • Maria Alessandra Rossi

Abstract

F/OSS software has been described by many as a puzzle. In the past five years, it has stimulated the curiosity of scholars in a variety of fields, including economics, law, psychology, anthropology and computer science, so that the number of contributions on the subject has increased exponentially. The purpose of this paper is to provide a sufficiently comprehensive account of these contributions in order to draw some general conclusions on the state of our understanding of the phenomenon and identify directions for future research. The exercise suggests that what is puzzling about F/OSS is not so much the fact that people freely contribute to a good they make available to all, but rather the complexity of its institutional structure and its ability to organizationally evolve over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2004. "Decoding the "Free/Open Source(F/OSS) Software Puzzle" a survey of theoretical and empirical contributions," Department of Economics University of Siena 424, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:424
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    Cited by:

    1. Rufus Pollock, 2008. "Innovation, Imitation and Open Source," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2008_20, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    2. Krishnamurthy, Sandeep & Ou, Shaosong & Tripathi, Arvind K., 2014. "Acceptance of monetary rewards in open source software development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 632-644.
    3. Ruo-Yu Liang & Wei Guo & Ling-Hao Zhang & Lei Wang, 2019. "Investigating Sustained Participation in Open Design Community in China: The Antecedents of User Loyalty," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(8), pages 1-19, April.
    4. Bitzer, Jurgen & Schroder, Philipp J.H., 2005. "Bug-fixing and code-writing: The private provision of open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 389-406, July.
    5. John P. Conley & Fan‐Chin Kung, 2010. "Private Benefits, Warm Glow, and Reputation in the Free and Open Source Software Production Model," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 665-689, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    F/OSS software; Innovation; Incentives; Governance; Intellectual Property Rights;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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