nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒04‒20
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Do Large Departments Make Academics More Productive? Agglomeration and Peer Effects in Research By Clément Bosquet; Pierre-Philippe Combes
  2. Publish or Teach ? The Role of the Scientific Environment on Academics' Multitasking By Yann Kossi; Jean-Yves Lesueur; Mareva Sabatier
  3. How does the entrepreneurial orientation of scientists affect their scientific performance? Evidence from the Quadrant Model By Naohiro Shichijo; Silvia Rita Sedita; Yasunori Baba
  4. Exploring Tradeoffs in the Organization of Scientific Work: Collaboration and Scientific Reward By Michaël Bikard; Fiona E. Murray; Joshua Gans
  5. Which Peers Matter? The Relative Impacts of Collaborators, Colleagues, and Competitors By Kirk B. Doran; George J. Borjas

  1. By: Clément Bosquet (London School of Economics and Political Science (SERC) and AixMarseille School of Economics); Pierre-Philippe Combes (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics, EHESS & CNRS.)
    Abstract: We study the effect of a large set of department characteristics on individual publication records. We control for many individual time-varying characteristics, individual fixed-effects and reverse causality. Department characteristics have an explanatory power that can be as high as that of individual characteristics. The departments that generate most externalities are those where academics are homogeneous in terms of publication performance and have diverse research fields, and, to a lesser extent, large departments, with more women, older academics, star academics and foreign co-authors. Department specialisation in a field also favours publication in that field. More students per academic does not penalise publication. At the individual level, women and older academics publish less, while the average publication quality increases with average number of authors per paper, individual field diversity, number of published papers and foreign co-authors.
    Keywords: research productivity determinants, economic geography, networks, economics of science, selection and endogeneity.
    JEL: R23 J24 I23
    Date: 2013–04–10
  2. By: Yann Kossi (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon); Jean-Yves Lesueur (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon); Mareva Sabatier (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - Université de Savoie)
    Abstract: The scientific environment might influence university researchers' job designs. In a principal-agent model, researchers must choose between substitutable tasks, publishing or teaching, according to their individual abilities and the scientific and pedagogical context that exists in their universities. This proposed model shows that scientific production can increase, regardless of researchers' abilities, if the scientific environment favours agglomeration effects. The authors test these predictions using an original data set of French economics professors that reveals their individual investments in both teaching and publishing. The econometric results confirm that the tasks conflict and that the scientific context affects researchers' investments in each task.
    Keywords: scientific production; multitasking; scientific environment
    Date: 2013–04–02
  3. By: Naohiro Shichijo (Waseda University); Silvia Rita Sedita (University of Padova); Yasunori Baba (University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Using Stokes's (1997) "quadrant model of scientific research", this paper deals with how the entrepreneurial orientation of scientists affects their scientific performance by considering its impact on scientific production (number of publications), scientific prestige (number of forward citations), and breadth of research activities (interdisciplinarity). The results of a quantitative analysis applied to a sample of 1,957 scientific papers published by 66 scientists active in advanced materials research in Japan found that (i) entrepreneurial scientists publish more papers than traditional scientists do, (ii) the papers published by Bohr scientists (traditional scientists with a stronger intention to fundamentality) demonstrate better citation performance than those published by Pasteur scientists (entrepreneurial scientists with a stronger intention to fundamentality) do, on average; (iii) if the focus is confined to high-impact papers, their prestige (i.e., forward citation counts) is favored by the authorship of Pasteur scientists; and (iv) the portfolio interdisciplinarity of papers authored by Pasteur scientists is higher (more diverse) than that of Bohr scientists.
    Date: 2013–02
  4. By: Michaël Bikard; Fiona E. Murray; Joshua Gans
    Abstract: When do scientists and other knowledge workers organize into collaborative teams and why do they do so for some projects and not others? At the core of this important organizational choice is, we argue, a tradeoff between the productive efficiency of collaboration and the credit allocation that arises after the completion of collaborative work. In this paper, we explore this tradeoff by developing a model to structure our understanding of the factors shaping researcher collaborative choices in particular the implicit allocation of credit among participants in scientific projects. We then use the annual research activity of 661 faculty scientists at one institution over a 30-year period to explore the tradeoff between collaboration and reward at the individual faculty level and to infer critical parameters in the organization of scientific work.
    JEL: O31 O33
    Date: 2013–04
  5. By: Kirk B. Doran (Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame); George J. Borjas (Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University)
    Abstract: Many economists believe that knowledge production generates positive spillovers among knowledge producers. We argue that spillovers may exist on at least three dimensions (in idea, geographic, and collaboration space), and that the strength or weakness of the spillover effects can vary across these dimensions. Using a unique data set that contains information on all publications of active mathematicians in the former Soviet Union, we examine the impact of a large post-­1992 exodus of Soviet mathematicians on the output of the non-­emigres. We find that a supply shock in the space of ideas (i.e., where the exodus consists of peers who work in similar topics) increases the output of the non-­emigres. However, neither a supply shock in geographic space (i.e., where the émigrés are members of the same university department) nor in collaboration space (i.e., where the emigres consist of coauthors) has a statistically significant effect on the output of a typical mathematician. We find evidence of human capital externalities only if the supply shock in collaboration space involves the loss of high-­quality coauthors. Spillovers, therefore, are most likely to be empirically important and dominate the competitive forces unleashed by a supply shock when high-­quality researchers are directly engaged in the joint production of new knowledge.
    Keywords: Emigration
    JEL: J6 J2
    Date: 2013–03

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