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Motivation and sorting in open source software innovation

Belenzon, Sharon and Schankerman, Mark (2008) Motivation and sorting in open source software innovation. CEP Discussion Papers, CEPDP0893. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Identification Number: CEPDP0893


This paper studies the role of intrinsic motivation, reputation, and reciprocity in driving open source software innovation. Unlike previous literature based on survey data, we exploit the observed pattern of contributions - the .revealed preference. of developers - to infer the underlying incentives driving the decision to contribute source code. Using detailed information on code contributions and project membership, we classify software developers into distinct types and study how contributions from each developer type vary according to the open source license type and other project characteristics. We find that developers strongly sort by license type, project size, and corporate sponsorship, and that reciprocity is important only for a small subset of projects. We also show that contributions have a substantial impact on the performance of open source projects.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
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Additional Information: © 2008 The Authors
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Series: Working Papers > CEP Discussion Papers
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2013 15:23
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 15:23

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