DP4329 The Determinants of Output Per Contributor in Open Source Projects: An Empirical Examination

Author(s): Chaim Fershtman, Neil Gandal
Publication Date: March 2004
Keyword(s): empirical study, open source, restrictive licenses, software
JEL(s): D20, L86
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4329

Using a unique dataset we examine empirically which factors explain output per contributor in open source projects. We find that the output per contributor of open source programmes is much higher when licenses are less restrictive. Further examination suggests that the difference in output per contributor is in large part due to many more contributors for projects that employ restrictive licenses. The results suggest a status/signaling or ideological motivation for participation in open source projects with restrictive licenses.