Open Source Software, Digital Divide, and Economic Growth: a Classical Division of Labor Perspective

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The article turns to classical economic insights on the division of labor and to institutional reasoning to identify some costs and benefits of Open Source Software (OSS) and proprietary software production. It suggests that, thanks to its licenses, OSS favors market expansion more than proprietary software does by tapping into spontaneous work input. The spontaneous tapping leads to a division of labor that exhibits what the article calls redundant economies. By generating a circle of knowledge growth, reuse, and sharing, redundant economies lead to increasing returns, which are crucial for economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology for Development
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)116-135
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

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