Open Source Software and Global Entrepreneurship

59 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020 Last revised: 13 Jul 2020

See all articles by Nataliya Wright

Nataliya Wright

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Frank Nagle

Harvard Business School

Shane M. Greenstein

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: July 10, 2020

Abstract

Does more activity in open source lead to more entrepreneurial activity and, if so, how much, and in what direction? This study measures how participation on the GitHub open source platform affects the founding of new ventures globally. We estimate these effects using cross-country variation in new venture foundings and open source participation. The study finds that a 1 percent increase in GitHub commits (code contributions) from people residing in a given country generates a 0.1-0.5 percent increase in the number of technology ventures founded within that country, a 0.6 percent increase in the number of new financing deals, a 0.97 percent increase in financing value, a 0.3 percent increase in the number of technology acquisitions, and a 0.1-0.5 percent increase in the number of global and mission-oriented ventures. The analysis develops an approach to identification based on various instrumental variables and shows that these associations can support causal inferences. We conclude that OSS contributes to different rates of entrepreneurship around the world and therefore can act as a policy lever to improve economic development and can also indicate promising investment opportunities.

Suggested Citation

Wright, Nataliya and Nagle, Frank and Greenstein, Shane M., Open Source Software and Global Entrepreneurship (July 10, 2020). Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 20-139, Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Working Paper No. 20-139, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3636502 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3636502

Nataliya Wright

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Frank Nagle (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Shane M. Greenstein

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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