Public Intervention for Free/Open Source Software

23 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2010

See all articles by Stefano Comino

Stefano Comino

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management

Alessandro Rossi

University of Trento

Fabio M. Manenti

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management

Date Written: June 22, 2010

Abstract

This paper reviews the main theoretical and practical arguments in favor and against governments’ policies supporting Free/Open Source (F/OS) software. Using the information gathered from the OSOR.eu website, we build an original dataset about F/OS software interventions across Europe and we show that public adoption and advisory are the most common type of interventions in Europe. Our analysis suggests that, to evaluate in a meaningful way rationales, motivations and consequences of public interventions, one has to properly distinguish between the various roles played by policy makers and the different categories of software involved. We provide empirical evidence that F/OS support is stronger in countries i) where egovernment services are more largely available, and ii) where the domestic software industry is lagging behind. This evidence supports common views among F/OS advocates.

Keywords: open source software, public policies, packaged vs customized software

JEL Classification: J50, O38, H57

Suggested Citation

Comino, Stefano and Rossi, Alessandro and Manenti, Fabio M., Public Intervention for Free/Open Source Software (June 22, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1628566 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1628566

Stefano Comino

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via Inama 5
Trento, I-38100
Italy

Alessandro Rossi

University of Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

Fabio M. Manenti (Contact Author)

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
Italy

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