It's not exactly what you are looking for, but you'll find some information on developers' motivation and possible performance decline over time in this blog post and the corresponding research paper:
Downloaded the paper from Arxiv, will check it out when I have some time. Though what I'm really after is a comparison with other fields, a lot of the stuff I saw while skim-reading should apply to other professions as well, so the question whether software development really is particularly competitive or not remains unanswered.
That's a good point. I think most of the results apply for other knowledge worker jobs as well. I can't tell which competitive aspects are specific to software development, but exploring this would be an interesting direction for future work.
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