The Socio-Economic Dynamics of Learning Networks . Building bridges between academics and self-learning
BraveBrains Innovation Alliance. Università Cattolica di Piacenza, Italy
Last modified: October 13, 2005
Key Issue for Open Culture
• Motivation of Individuals
– Public goods theory predicts that non-rival and non-excludable
goods ought to encourage free-riding.
– Particularly if the good is subject to collective provision, where
many people must contribute together in order to get something
of value, the system should go towards 'under provision'.
– Why, then, do highly talented people choose voluntarily to
allocate some or a substantial portion of their time and mind-
space (that are both limited and valuable resources) to a project
for which they will not be compensated?
– How and why do these individuals coordinate their contributions
on a single 'focal point'?
– Authority within a firm and the price mechanism across firms are
standard means to efficiently coordinate specialized knowledge
in a complex division of labour - but neither is operative in open
source. Any individual can freely modify source code and
redistribute modified versions to others.