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Type Paper
Location Ontario
Cite as Citation reference for the source document. Jun-Yu Qian and Joshua M. Pearce, 2023. Leveraging Open Source Development Value to Increase Freedom of Movement of Highly Qualified Personnel. Journal of Identity and Migration Studies, 17(2), p.80-118.OA, academia OA

It is now well established that a nation's university-educated highly qualified personnel (HQP) population has a clear positive benefit on economic development by improving labor force efficiency and productivity. Yet HQP mobility is often restricted, particularly for economically-poor undocumented HQP. In order to overcome the challenges of mobility for both traditional and undocumented HQP, this study evaluates how the use of open source (OS) development and documentation can overcome barriers to HQP mobility to benefit society. Case studies are provided for software and hardware. Then mechanisms of incentives for OS development to benefit the global commons are evaluated against the case studies. The results show that even modest contributions to open source development can result in substantial value and high societal ROIs, which are more than enough to justify funding HQP mobility by all three mechanisms. The ROIs for popular free software can range into the millions of percent, while for free and open source hardware the ROI is still high, but more modest (>10-1,000%) and more closely tied to the market value of the product. The mechanisms introduced in this study could serve as tools to reward OS contributions by HQP and grant them greater freedom of movement.


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