Tag Archives: incentive theory

NO.10 Are Man-Month Contracts Effective?

  • Idea:
    Assigning more programmers to a project running behind schedule will make it even later, due to the time required for the new programmers to learn about the project, as well as the increased communication overhead. When N people have to communicate among themselves (without a hierarchy), as N increases, their output M decreases and can even become negative, i.e., the total work remaining at the end of a day is greater than the total work that had been remaining at the beginning of that day, such as when many bugs are created.

    • Group Intercommunication Formula: n(n − 1) / 2
    • Example: 50 developers give 50 · (50 – 1) / 2 = 1225 channels of communication.

    Thus, if a company made a contract with an software company, and the pay is calculated by Man-month, it will cause the incentive problem--since the software company will offer more developers but they are intending to cost more time.
    [email me if you are interested!]

  • Process:
    Not started yet.

NO.1 Can Holding More Academic Lectures Lead to More Papers?

  • Introduction:
    Now more and more schools are eager to improve their academic rankings, and one important index is the papers released. Several ways can be helpful, such like employing more stuff and hold more lectures and conferences.
    Here we use data of economic schools from more than 100 top universities in China and estimate the correlation between lectures and papers.
    At present, only 2 simple regressions are made, and more possible advanced researches are mentioned in the last part.
  • Some improvements can be done in the future:
    1.The panel data contains the amounts of papers during a long period, e.g. 20 years from 1989 to 2009
    2.Select data of different provinces or parts of China and compare them.
    3.Calculate not only the quantity but also the quality with using different weighing rates of different journals.
    4.Expand the research to other field, such like schools of biology, history, mathematic, physics, and chemistry and so on, to show that whether it remains the same in all subjects.
    5.Compare to the US, UK and other countries and figure out the differences and reasons.
  • Process:
    First version finished on 2009.3.22.
    PDF (English, 382Kb)

    Preview_Online (English)
    Data (email me if you need)