Free/Open Source Software Adoption, Public Policies and Development Indicators: An International Comparison
Despite the growing body of research on the inner workings of FOSS development, there are few studies on its relation with broader developments in society. In this study we have attempted a preliminary investigation of (1) how FOSS prevalence is related to economic and human development indicators of countries, (2) whether public policies regarding FOSS emerge in a consistent relation with these indicators in several clusters of countries constructed from the United Nation’s human development index, and (3) the relation of software piracy to development indicators. Our results point to relative significance of non-economic factors in FOSS adoption, lack of consistent policies among public agencies, and irrelevance of non-economic factors on software piracy. In addition, the study demonstrates the possibility of developing FOSS indices for larger scale diagnosis and strategizing.
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