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Reminder: Virtual Workshop on Open Source – Extended Abstracts due by May 15 2023

  • 1.  Reminder: Virtual Workshop on Open Source – Extended Abstracts due by May 15 2023

    Posted 27 days ago

    Dear Colleagues,


    We are issuing a call for extended abstracts for qualitative or quantitative research papers on the economics of open source. Please submit your extended abstract (max 1000 words) by May 15, 2023 here (or copy and paste this into a browser: https://nyustern.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_57vLtaRMCn22L3w). 


    A set of abstracts will be selected for presentation in a virtual paper development workshop on June 26, 2023. 


    Additional information:

    • Abstracts should be for papers aimed at peer-reviewed academic journals.

    • Preference will be given to abstracts that focus on one of the four categories highlighted from the January 17 workshop referenced below: (1) Measurement/Economy-wide Issues; (2) Entrepreneurship & Innovation; (3) Effects on Organizations; (4) Effects on Workers. 

    • Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by May 31, 2023.

    • Anyone is welcome to attend the virtual paper development workshop on June 26, 2023.


    Please contact Rob Seamans (rseamans@stern.nyu.edu) with any questions.


    We look forward to receiving your abstracts.




    Martin Fleming (Varicent)

    Frank Nagle (HBS)

    Rob Seamans (NYU Stern)

    Sonali Shah (U. Illinois)



    Readout From Economics of Open Source Virtual Workshop, January 2023




    A group met virtually on January 17, 2023 to brainstorm and discuss the "big" questions about the economics of open source. The meeting was 1.5 hours and attended by about 40 participants from the academia, think tank, government and practice domains.


    The meeting started with individual introductions followed by presentations on "open source and the economy" by Martin Fleming (Varicent) and "open source and the firm" by Frank Nagle (HBS). Then participants met virtually in small group breakout rooms to brainstorm the "big" questions. These questions were then discussed with the entire group. The meeting concluded with a presentation by Peter Cihon (GitHub) on "GitHub data for research" and a list of next steps. 


    What follows is a high level summary of the questions that emerged from the discussion. These can roughly be grouped into four categories: Measurement/Economy-wide Issues; Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Effects on Organizations; Effects on Workers. The topics of (i) incentivizing organizations to adopt open source, (ii) conditions under which open source complements or substitutes for work, and (iii) how much economic value is created by open source came up multiple times in various forms.




    Measurement/ Economy-wide Issues

    1.  How can we best measure the effect of open source in national accounts?

    2.  How do you value/price open source? How much economic value is created? What are the implications of open source for GDP price deflators? What is the effect on productivity and GDP?

    3. What are the costs to develop open source software (national accounts perspective) and how can they be measured?

    4. How can government sector spending be measured among licensed proprietary software, software-as-a-service, and open source?

    5. How can open source be used in development initiatives in developing economies?

    6. What are good ways to measure open source intelligence vs open source software?

    7.  Are there commonalities to tokenization? What research and applications of each (tokens and open source) help us understand more about the other?


    Entrepreneurship & Innovation

    1.  How does open source lower barriers and foster entrepreneurship and follow-on innovation?

    2.  What are the price and entrepreneurial effects of reduced lock-in from open source?

    3.  Why do startups give scarce resources to open source?

    4. How should we measure open source innovation (other than using patents)?

    5. How many external projects does an open source component support?  What is a value estimate for each of these software dependencies?

    6. What should government policy around university open source projects look like; is there an equivalent to the Bayh-Dole Act?


    Effects on Organizations

    1.  How do we convince/incentivize organizations (including for profits, non profits, governments, etc) to support open source and encourage their employees to contribute to open source?

    Who is contributing to open source - large organizations, SMBs, public sector organizations?

    2.  When a firm switches to open source, what are the effects on the firm? What are the effects on its competitors?

    3.  How do we identify the most critical and/or bottleneck pieces of open source software for a firm/system/economy?

    4.  How much do for-profit firms benefit from open source?

    5.  What is the role of open source in universities?

    6.  What are the risks for firms of using open source, who maintains it?


    Effects on Workers

    1.  Does open source serve as a complement or substitute to employment of developers 

    2.  Who is using open source?

    3.  How can open source be used to do the "boring" things, so as to keep employees engaged?

    4.  What are the labor market effects of open source on developers; can we learn anything from recent work on the effect of automation/AI?

    5.  Do developers make themselves more productive via use of open source?

    Robert Seamans
    NYU Stern School of Business
    New York NY

    Robert Seamans
    NYU Stern School of Business
    New York NY