nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2005‒10‒22
five papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Open Source Software Development Projects: Determinants of Project Popularity By Ravi
  2. Firm Structure, Search and Environmental Complexity By Jason Barr; Nobuyuki Hanaki
  3. A Strategic Analysis of Competition Between Open Source and Proprietary Software By Ravi Sen
  4. Is technological change really skill biased? Evidence from the introduction of ICTs on the textile sector (1980-2000) By Alberto Baccini; Martina Cioni
  5. The Internal Job Market of the IMF's Economist Program By Greg Barron; Felix J. J. Vardy

  1. By: Ravi (Sen)
    Abstract: This paper is an initial exploration of the determinants of open source project success as measured by project popularity. We simultaneously model the impact of project-specific characteristics on project popularity, and the impact of intended users and choice of operating system on the choice of end-user license. These models are jointly estimated using Full Information Maximum Likelihood Method. The results show that the software-user license, age of the project, project status, certain types of potential users, and compatibility with certain operating systems have a statistically significant impact on project popularity. An interesting finding is that GPL, the most widely used software license has an adverse impact on the popularity of an open source project.
    Keywords: Open source project, OSS, FLOSS, OSS popularity, OSS success
    JEL: C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C8
    Date: 2005–10–17
  2. By: Jason Barr; Nobuyuki Hanaki
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between environmental complexity and firm organization. We ask: Given the complexity of the environment, which organizational structure and level of decision making authority optimizes performance of a firm? We assume the information processing organization is arranged hierarchically, but that decisions can be made at different levels, and thus centralization directly relates to the quantity of information used in making a decision. We model the external environment as a modified NK landscape. Via simulations, we explore which type of organizational structure and level of decision making maximizes firm profits, given the complexity of the environment.
    Keywords: Information Processing, Organizational Structure, Rugged Landscapes
    JEL: C63 L2
    Date: 2005–10
  3. By: Ravi Sen (Texas A&M University)
    Abstract: This paper takes an analytical approach to identify the conditions under which freely available open source software (OSS) and/or the commercial version of the same (OSS-SS) will adversely affect the market position of proprietary software (PS), and suggests some strategic steps that the PS vendor can take in order to compete successfully. For example, we find that in software markets characterized by low network benefits and OSS-SS with low usability (relative to PS), open source software will have the dominant market share. Interestingly, in these markets the profitability of PS vendor, when the OSS-SS is also present in the market, is higher than its profitability, when the OSS-SS is absent from the software market. In software markets characterized by low network benefits and OSS-SS with high usability, PS will dominate the market in terms of market share. It can maintain its domination by actively participating in OSS projects and ensuring that OSS is as usable as OSS- SS. In software markets characterized by high network benefits and OSS- SS with low usability (relative to PS), we should expect to see the open source software dominating this market in future. However, PS vendors can effectively compete by ensuring that PS is more usable than OSS-SS and OSS. Finally, in software markets characterized by high network benefits and OSS-SS with high usability, PS faces the maximum threat since open source software will dominate the market in terms of market share. Furthermore, the equilibrium price that the PS can charge will not result in positive profits, thus ensuring the exit of PS vendors from the software markets. However, we have yet to see a commercial version of open source in this software category that is as usable as the PS. Therefore, we have not observed the exit of PS vendors from this software segment.
    Keywords: Open source software, software market, software competition, economics of open source, commercial open source, FLOSS.
    JEL: L
    Date: 2005–10–17
  4. By: Alberto Baccini; Martina Cioni
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the skills of a workforce. Using micro-data collected from workers in the textile sector, we analyse whether the introduction of ICTs has modified workers’ tasks, so that higher skills and longer training periods than before are necessary. Our survey has shown that ICTs i) have replaced unskilled labour in some cases and skilled labour in others; ii) have changed workers’ tasks in some cases but not in others; and finally, iii) have brought about an increase in skills for only a small number of occupations. This empirical evidence does not confirm the hypothesis that technological change, and in particular change introduced by ICTs, is necessarily skill biased
    Keywords: Technological change, skill bias, textile industry
    JEL: O33 L67
  5. By: Greg Barron; Felix J. J. Vardy
    Abstract: This paper shows how the internal job market for participants in the IMF Economist Program (EPs) could be redesigned to eliminate most of the shortcomings of the current system. The new design is based on Gale and Shapley's (1962) Deferred Acceptance Algorithm (DAA) and generates an efficient and stable outcome. An Excel-based computer program, EPMatch, implements the algorithm and applies it to the internal job market for EPs. The program can be downloaded from for_Excel.html
    Keywords: Economist Program , Fund ,
    Date: 2004–10–18

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