I'm not sure if this would be helpful, but there was a paper by some authors who surveyed a decent amount of developers for various Apache software foundation projects. They got income data from the survey and measured programming skill by the developer's hierarchy in the organization.Again it's probably not helpful to you. It was a one-time thing and I don't think the dataset was released. But I can try to track down the paper if you're interested.
Don't worry about it unless you've got it on hand - I think that's enough information for me to start googling.It's more of a musing on my part anyway - it's something we hear a lot (and we're aware of, but haven't really had any way around it) when we do work with the major employment surveys. Programmers are heterogeneous with lots of different skills, etc. Thanks
Han, Roberts, Slaughter, and Fielding (2004) - "An Empirical Analysis of Economic Returns to Open Source Participation" is the one I was thinking of.Wu, Gerlach, Young (2007) - "An empirical analysis of open source software developers motivations and continuance intentions" is another take on it.You might also want to take a look at Mockus, Fielding, and Herbsleb (2002) - "Two Case Studies of Open Source Software Development- Apache and Mozilla."
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Daniel Kuehn is a doctoral candidate and adjunct professor in the Economics Department at American University. He has a master's degree in public policy from George Washington University.