Institutions, Culture, And Open Source

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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.) is well explored, it is not known which institutional and cultural factors explain different OSS activities across countries.