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Why develop open-source software? The role of non-pecuniary benefits, monetary rewards, and open-source licence type

Robert M. Sauer
Oxford Review of Economic Policy
Vol. 23, No. 4, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (WINTER 2007), pp. 605-619
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23606749
Page Count: 15
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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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Abstract

A review of the basic theory of optimal open-source software contributions points to three key factors affecting the decision to contribute to the open-source development process: 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. Previous econometric studies that collect their own unique datasets also fall short because they generally measure the importance of only one supply factor in isolation. To fill the gap, I specify an estimable dynamic programming model of joint labour supply and open-source participation decisions that can provide empirical estimates of relative importance within a single unified framework of optimal decision-making.

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