Institutions, Culture, and Open Source
Posted: 12 Feb 2011 Last revised: 11 Oct 2013
Date Written: 2013
We analyze the impact of institutional and cultural factors on the supply side of open source software (OSS). OSS is a privately provided public good: it is marked by free access to the software and its source code, and is developed in a public, collaborative manner by thousands of volunteers as well as profit-seeking firms. Our cross-country study shows that a culture characterized by interpersonal trust and self-determination/fulfillment values has a positive impact on OSS activities and the number of developers. The supply side of OSS also benefits from the enforcement of intellectual property rights. A low degree of regulation and openness towards scientific progress has a positive impact on the number of OSS developers, but the latter not on the number of active or core developers.
Keywords: Open source software; Institutions; Culture; Social capital; Individualism; Intellectual property rights
JEL Classification: B52, L17, L86, O34, Z13, Z19
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