nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒01‒14
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. The Republic of Open Science : the institution’s historical origins and prospects for continued vitality By David P.A.
  2. University citation distributions By Antonio Perianes-Rodríguez; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
  3. Contracts, Job Security And Development Of The University By Anna Panova

  1. By: David P.A. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: In most modern economies scientific and technological research activities are conducted in two distinct organizational modes commercially oriented RD based upon proprietary information, and noncommercial open science. When taken together and kept in proper balance, these form a complementary pair of institutionally differentiated sub-systems. Each can work to amplify and augment the productivity of the other, thereby spurring long-term economic growth and improvements of social welfare in knowledge-driven societies. This paper considers the difference between historical origins of open science and its modern, critically important role in the allocation of research resources. The institutional structure of The Republic of Open Science generally is less well understood and has less robust self-sustaining foundations than the familiar non-cooperative market mechanisms associated with proprietary RD. Although they are better suited for the conduct of exploratory science, they also remain more vulnerable to damages from collateral effects of shifts in government policies, particularly those that impact their fiscal support and regulatory environments. After reviewing the several challenges that such policy actions during the 20th centurys closing decades had posed for continued effective collective explorations at the frontiers of scientific knowledge, the discussion examines the responses that those developments elicited from academic research communities. Those reactions to the threatened curtailment of timely access to data and technical information about new research methods and findings took the form of technical and organizational innovations designed to expand and enhance infrastructural protections for sustained open access in scientific and scholarly communications. They were practical, bottom-up initiatives to provide concrete, domain relevant tools and organizational routines whose adoption subsequently could be, and in the event were reinforced by top-down policy guidelines and regulatory steps by public funding agencies and international bodies. The non-politicized nature of that process, as well as its largely effective outcomes should be read cautiously as positive portents of the future vitality of the Republic of Open Science and of those societies that recognize, protect and adequately support this remarkable social innovation.
    Keywords: Property Law; Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives;
    JEL: K11 O31
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Antonio Perianes-Rodríguez; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the characteristics of the citation distributions of the 500 universities inthe 2013 edition of the CWTS Leiden Ranking. We use a WoS dataset consisting of 3.6 million articles published in 2003-2008 with a five-year citation window, and classified into 5,119 clusters. The mainfindings are the following four. Firstly, The universality claim, according to which all university citation distributions, appropriately normalized, follow a single functional form, is not supported by the data. Secondly, nevertheless, the 500 university citation distributions are all highly skewed and very similar.Broadly speaking, university citation distributions appear to behave as if they differ by a relatively constant scale factor over a large, intermediate part of their support. Thirdly, citation impact differences between universities account for 3.85% of overall citation inequality. However, these differences are greatly reduced when university citation distributions are normalized using their MNCS values as normalization factors. Finally, the above results have important practical consequences. On one hand, we only need a single explanatory model for the single type of high skewness characterizing all university citation distributions. On the other hand, the similarity of university citation distributions goes a long way in explaining the similarity of the university rankings obtained with the MNCS and the top 10% indicator.
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Anna Panova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The research success of a university requires ecient recruiting. The talents of candidates are unobservable for administrators, and so they delegate hiring to the faculty who have better knowledge of the job market. Since professors dislike putting their own employment at risk, faculty, especially less productive, have an incentive to hire less productive candidates to insure against getting red themselves. I argue that both tenure and strict long-term administrative positions mitigate this problem, and allow one to hire better candidates.
    Keywords: tenure, academic contracts, university, job security
    JEL: I23 J41 J54 L29
    Date: 2014

This nep-sog issue is ©2015 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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