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The Allocation of Software Development Resources In ‘Open Source’ Production Mode

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-Michel Dalle

    (Université Paris VI & IMRI-Université Paris Dauphine)

  • Paul David

    (Stanford University & Oxford Internet- Institute)

Abstract

This paper aims to develop a stochastic simulation structure capable of describing the decentralized, micro-level decisions that allocate programming resources both within and among open source/free software (OS/FS) projects, and that thereby generate an array of OS/FS system products each of which possesses particular qualitative attributes. The core or behavioral kernel of simulation tool presented here represents the effects of the reputational reward structure of OS/FS communities (as characterized by Raymond 1998) to be the key mechanism governing the probabilistic allocation of agents’ individual contributions among the constituent components of an evolving software system. In this regard, our approach follows the institutional analysis approach associated with studies of academic researchers in “open science” communities. For the purposes of this first step, the focus of the analysis is confined to showing the ways in which the specific norms of the reward system and organizational rules can shape emergent properties of successive releases of code for a given project, such as its range of functions and reliability. The global performance of the OS/FS mode, in matching the functional and other characteristics of the variety of software systems that are produced with the needs of users in various sectors of the economy and polity, obviously, is a matter of considerable importance that will bear upon the long-term viability and growth of this mode of organizing production and distribution. Our larger objective, therefore, is to arrive at a parsimonious characterization of the workings of OS/FS communities engaged across a number of projects, and their collective productive performance in dimensions that are amenable to “social welfare” evaluation. Seeking that goal will pose further new and interesting problems for study, a number of which are identified in the essay’s conclusion. Yet, it is argued that that these too will be found to be tractable within the framework provided by refining and elaborating on the core (“proof of concept”) model that is presented in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Michel Dalle & Paul David, 2005. "The Allocation of Software Development Resources In ‘Open Source’ Production Mode," Industrial Organization 0502011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0502011
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 39
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruce Kogut & Anca Metiu, 2001. "Open-Source Software Development and Distributed Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 248-264, Summer.
    2. Paul A. David, 2007. "Path Dependence, its Critics, and the Quest for ‘Historical Economics’," Chapters,in: The Evolution of Economic Institutions, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Franke, Nikolaus & von Hippel, Eric, 2002. "Satisfying Heterogeneous User Needs via Innovation Toolkits: The Case of Apache Security Software," Working papers 4341-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    4. Dalle, Jean-Michel & Jullien, Nicolas, 2003. "'Libre' software: turning fads into institutions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-11, January.
    5. David, Paul A, 1998. "Common Agency Contracting and the Emergence of "Open Science" Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 15-21, May.
    6. Pierre Garrouste & Stavros Iaonnides, 2001. "Evolution and Path-Dependency in Economic Ideas: Past and Present," Post-Print halshs-00274526, HAL.
    7. Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
    8. Dasgupta, Partha & David, Paul, 1985. "Information Disclosure and the Economics of Science and Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 73, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    10. Paul A. David, 1999. "The Political Economy of Public Science," Working Papers 99022, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    11. Juan Mateos Garcia & W. Edward Steinmueller, 2003. "The Open Source Way of Working: a New Paradigm for the Division of Labour in Software Development?," SPRU Working Paper Series 92, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul A. David & Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Micro-dynamics of Free and Open Source Software Development. Lurking, laboring and launching new projects on SourceForge," LEM Papers Series 2006/26, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Engelhardt, Sebastian v. & Freytag, Andreas, 2013. "Institutions, culture, and open source," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 90-110.
    3. Inès Bouzid & Hela Masmoudi, 2007. "Les communautés des logiciels libres: une nouvelle structure d'innovation," Post-Print halshs-00171703, HAL.
    4. den Besten, Matthijs & Dalle, Jean-Michel & Galia, Fabrice, 2008. "The allocation of collaborative efforts in open-source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 316-322, December.
    5. Rullani, Francesco & Haefliger, Stefan, 2013. "The periphery on stage: The intra-organizational dynamics in online communities of creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 941-953.
    6. Paola Giuri & Matteo Ploner & Francesco Rullani & Salvatore Torrisi, 2004. "Skills, Division of Labor and Performance in Collective Inventions. Evidence from the Open Source Software," LEM Papers Series 2004/19, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    7. Paul A. David & Francesco Rullani, 2008. "Dynamics of innovation in an “open source” collaboration environment: lurking, laboring, and launching FLOSS projects on SourceForge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 647-710, August.
    8. Francesco Rullani & Francesco Zirpoli, 2013. "Coordination of joint search in distributed innovation processes: Lessons from the effects of initial code release in Open Source Software development," Working Papers 20, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    9. Stephen M. Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2006. "Open Source Software: The New Intellectual Property Paradigm," NBER Working Papers 12148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Giuri, Paola & Ploner, Matteo & Rullani, Francesco & Torrisi, Salvatore, 2010. "Skills, division of labor and performance in collective inventions: Evidence from open source software," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 54-68, January.
    11. Maggie X. Chen & Murat Iyigun & Keith E. Maskus, 2007. "General Public Licensing And The Intensity Of Aggregate Software Development," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(6), pages 451-466.
    12. Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Dragging developers towards the core. How the Free/Libre/Open Source Software community enhances developers' contribution," LEM Papers Series 2006/22, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    13. Garzarelli, Giampaolo & Limam, Yasmina Reem & Thomassen, Bjørn, 2007. "Open Source Software and Economic Growth: A Classical Division of Labor Perspective," MPRA Paper 3849, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Masmoudi, Héla, 2011. "La résolution distribuée dans les communautés Open Source : propriétés organisationnelles et modes de coordination," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/10709 edited by Dalle, Jean-Michel.
    15. Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Dragging developers towards the core," KITeS Working Papers 190, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Feb 2007.
    16. Rullani, Francesco, 2005. "The three dimensions of a communitarian institution. The Open Source Software Community Case," AICCON Working Papers 16-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    17. Francesco Rullani, 2005. "The Debate and the Community. “Reflexive Identity” in the FLOSS Community," LEM Papers Series 2005/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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