Two new studies have come out of Europe that support open access to government data.
- A 2011 Finnish study addressed the question, Does Marginal Cost Pricing of Public Sector Information Spur Firm Growth? The authors analyze data from 15 counties and conclude “Firms functioning in the countries in which public sector agencies provide fundamental geographical information either freely or at maximum marginal costs have grown, on average, about 15 percent more per annum than the firms in the countries in which public sector GI is priced according to the cost-recovery principle.” Starting in May 2012, all Finnish geodata is being made available free of charge to all users.
- An April 2012 Danish study looked at the Funding of a System of Key Registers in a PSI-conomics and Contemporary Perspective. Three options were considered: people pay to register data (e.g. deeds), people pay to purchase data, and government pays. The study concludes that it is best for general state government support. Selling government data is inefficient because it keeps out many potential users and those who do pay distort the market. Society is better off when data is available to widest number of users.