A Test of Lazear’s Theory of Entrepreneurship in the Open Source Software Virtual Community

  • Paola Giuri
  • Francesco Rullani
  • Salvatore Torrisi
Part of the International Studies in Entrepreneurship book series (ISEN, volume 26)


This paper studies the emergence of entrepreneurs and their skill profile in the open source software (OSS) community. We test the hypothesis that entrepreneurs, carrying out complex, multitask activities, have more balanced skill sets compared with individuals who are less involved in project management activities.Our empirical analysis employs the SourceForge dataset containing information on 77,039 individuals working in 54,229 OSS projects. We estimate logit and ordered logit models to explore the likelihood that an individual is a project founder or manager. Our main regressors include individual attributes like skill level and diversity, and project-level controls. Results support our hypothesis.


Open Source Software Managerial Role Virtual Team Project Member Order Logit Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Salvatore Torrisi acknowledges the financial support of the University of Bologna (Progetto strategico Nascita e sviluppo di imprese ad alta tecnologia in Europa (STARTUP).

Francesco Rullani gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Fondazione IRI (“Programma di perfezionamento all’estero in discipline manageriali”).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Giuri
    • 1
  • Francesco Rullani
    • 2
  • Salvatore Torrisi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.INO, Copenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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