Intrinsic Motivation versus Signaling in Open Source Software Development
Jürgen Bitzer (),
Wolfram Schrettl and
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Wolfram Schrettl: Free University Berlin
No 06-7, Working Papers from University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics
This papers sheds light on the puzzling fact that even though open
source software (OSS) is a public good, it is developed for free by
highly qualified, young, motivated individuals, and evolves at a rapid
pace. We show that when OSS development is understood as the private
provision of a public good, these features emerge quite naturally.
We adapt a dynamic private-provision-of-public-goods model to reflect
key aspects of the OSS phenomenon. Apart from extrinsic motives
(namely signaling), the present model also contains intrinsic motives
of OSS programmers, such as play value or homo ludens payoff, userprogrammers’
and gift culture benefits. Such intrinsic motives feature
extensively in the wider OSS literature and contribute new insights to
the economic analysis
Keywords: open source software; public goods; homo ludens; war of attrition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 L31 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-ino and nep-pbe
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:aareco:2006_007
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