EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Institutions, Culture, and Open Source

Andreas Freytag and Sebastian Engelhardt ()

No 2010-010, Jena Economics Research Papers from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

Abstract: The paper analyzes the impact of institutional and cultural factors on a remarkable economic activity: the production of so-called open source software (OSS). OSS is marked by free access to the software and its source code. Copyright-based OSS licenses permit users to use, change, improve and redistribute the software, which is designed and developed in a public, collaborative manner. OSS seems to be an example of a 'private provision of a public good'. While the supply-side microeconomics of OSS (individual characteristics of OSS developers, role of firms etc.) are well explored, it is not known which institutional and cultural factors explain different OSS activities across countries. For this reason, we perform a cross-country study analyzing how the number of OSS developers per inhabitants and the level of OSS activity of a country depend on institutional and cultural factors. Our findings are that a culture characterized by individualism/self-determination, abundance of social capital interpreted as interpersonal trust, an optimistic view of scientific progress, a low degree of regulation as well as good protection of intellectual property rights is favoring OSS activities. Our study thus contributes to the understanding of the role of cultural and nstitutional factors in general as well as in particular with respect to OSS. Additionally, it improves the understanding of the supply-side of OSS.

Keywords: Open Source; Culture; Institutions; Social Capital; Trust; Regulation; Entrepreneurial Spirit; Individualism; Intellectual Property Rights (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B52 L17 L86 O34 Z13 Z19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-02-24
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-ent, nep-ipr, nep-pr~, nep-sbm and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

Downloads: (external link)
https://oweb.b67.uni-jena.de/Papers/jerp2010/wp_2010_010.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Institutions, culture, and open source (2013) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-010

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Jena Economics Research Papers from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Markus Pasche ().

 
Page updated 2024-06-12
Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-010