nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2008‒10‒28
five papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Inadequate Management and Declining Infrastructure: The Critical Recurring Cost Problem Facing Irrigation in Asia By Easter, K. William
  2. Microstructure of Collaboration: The Network of Open Source Software By Chaim Fershtman; Neil Gandal
  3. Contracts and Motivations. The Case of Open Source By Marcello Basili; Antonio Nicita; Maria Alessandra Rossi
  4. Informational Hold-Up, Disclosure Policy, and Career Concerns on the Example of Open Source Software Development By Marc Blatter; Andras Niedermayer
  5. The Role of Business Planning Concepts in Balancing Mission and Financial Sustainability Responsibilities in Extension Programming By Klein, Thomas K.; Morse, George M.

  1. By: Easter, K. William
    Abstract: This report reviews the recurring costs situation for irrigation in Asia. These are the costs associated with project operation and maintenance (O&M). As is well documented in the literature many developing countries have neglected project O&M which has resulted in a rapid depreciation of past irrigation investments (Carruthers, 1981). Irrigation systems fail to irrigate their planned or projected command areas and after a few years parts of the systems no longer function (Wade, 1975). The problem is that there are too few farmer or government agency incentives which foster investment of capital and human resources in O&M and assure that irrigation projects operate at a high level of performance over a long period of time. For example, there is lack of accountability for O&M because of the weak linkage between those providing O&M and those benefiting from O&M.
    Keywords: International Development, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2008–04–14
  2. By: Chaim Fershtman (Department of Economics, Tel Aviv University,); Neil Gandal (Department of Public Policy, Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: The open source model is a form of software development with source code that is typically made available to all interested parties. At the core of this process is a decentralized production process: open source software development is done by a network of unpaid software developers. Using data from, the largest repository of Open Source Software (OSS) projects and contributors on the Internet, we construct two related networks: A Project network and a Contributor network. Knowledge spillovers may be closely related to the structure of such networks, since contributors who work on several projects likely exchange information and knowledge. Defining the number of downloads as output we finds that (i) additional contributors are associated with an increase in output, but that additional contributors to projects in the giant component are associated with greater output gains than additional contributors to projects outside of the giant component; (ii) Betweenness centrality of the project is positively associated with the number of downloads. (iii) Closeness centrality of the project appears also to be positively associated with downloads, but the effect is not statistically significant over all specifications. (iv) Controlling for the correlation between these two measures of centrality (betweenness and closeness), the degree is not positively associated with the number of downloads. (v) The average closeness centrality of the contributors that participated in a project is positively correlated with the success of the project. These results suggest that there are positive spillovers of knowledge for projects occupying critical junctures in the information flow. When we define projects as connected if and only if they had at least two contributors in common, we again find that additional contributors are associated with an increase in output, and again find that this increase is much higher for projects with strong ties than other projects in the giant component.
    Keywords: open source, network, Microstructure of Collaboration
    JEL: L17
    Date: 2008–04
  3. By: Marcello Basili; Antonio Nicita; Maria Alessandra Rossi
    Abstract: The literature on Open Source phenomenon has revealed the crucial role played by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. However an analysis attempting to formally explore this interplay is still missing. In this paper, we try to fill the gap by introducing intrinsic motivations in standard principal-agent model, focusing on the case of Open Source Software (OSS). We show that, if developers’ intrinsic motivation is sufficiently high, paying developers to work on OSS projects allows the firm to induce a desired level of workers’ effort at a lower cost compared to the standard case of monetary incentives and sanctions coupled with costly monitoring.
    Keywords: extrinsic and intrisic motivations, agency contracts, open-source software, open-source software developers
    JEL: O32 M52 M54 O33 O31 M12
    Date: 2008–10
  4. By: Marc Blatter (Economics Department, University of Bern); Andras Niedermayer (Kellogg School of Management, CMS-EMS, Northwestern University)
    Abstract: We consider software developers who can either work on an open source project or on a closed source project. The former provides a publicly available signal about their talent, whereas the latter provides a signal only observed by their employer. We show that a talented employee may initially prefer a less paying job as an open source developer to commercial closed source projects, because a publicly available signal gives him a better bargaining position when renegotiating wages with his employer after the signal has been revealed. Also, we derive conditions under which two effects suggested by standard intuition are reversed: a “pooling equilibrium” (with both talented and untalented workers doing closed source) is less likely if differences in talent are large; a highly visible open source job leads to more effort in a career concerns setup. The former effect is because a higher productivity of talented workers raises not only the value but also the cost of signaling; the latter stems from more effort and the choice of a high visibility job being substitutes for the purpose of signaling. Results naturally apply to other industries with high and low visibility jobs, e.g. academic rather than commercial research, consulting rather than management.
    Keywords: Open source software, signaling
    JEL: C70 L86
    Date: 2008–09
  5. By: Klein, Thomas K.; Morse, George M.
    Abstract: The University of Minnesota Extension Service used program business plans, an effective tool in other sectors, to improve integration among campus-based state specialists, field educators, and administrative staff and to address operational and financial issues. The traditional semiautonomous work of educators contributed to silolike efforts, unclear roles and responsibilities, and difficulty communicating program benefits to stakeholders. Plans were written for fifty-four of fifty-six Extension programs in a nine-month time frame around a template developed in the Department of Applied Economics. This paper explores the rationale for program business plans in outreach education, key plan concepts, and the process used to develop the plans. We interviewed program team members to gather early insights and preliminary outcomes. Most program teams interviewed in this study recommend program business planning. We continue to use the plans and build our understanding of how this tool can strengthen Extension programming.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008–02–23

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