nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒04‒11
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. SiSOB Data Extraction and Codification: A tool to analyse scientific careers. By Geuna, Aldo; Kataishi, Rodrigo; Toselli, Manuel; Guzmán, Eduardo; Lawson, Cornelia; Fernandez-Zubieta, Ana; Barros, Beatriz
  2. 'High' Achievers? Cannabis Access and Academic Performance By Olivier Marie; Ulf Zölitz
  3. International Careers of Researchers in Biomedical Sciences: A Comparison of the US and the UK. By Lawson, Cornelia; Geuna, Aldo; Ana Fernández-Zubieta; Toselli, Manuel; Kataishi, Rodrigo

  1. By: Geuna, Aldo; Kataishi, Rodrigo; Toselli, Manuel; Guzmán, Eduardo; Lawson, Cornelia; Fernandez-Zubieta, Ana; Barros, Beatriz (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper describes the methodology and software tool used to build a database on the careers and productivity of academics, using public information available on the Internet, and provides a first analysis of the data collected for a sample of 360 US scientists funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and 291 UK scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The tool’s structured outputs can be used for either econometric research or data representation for policy analysis. The methodology and software tool is validated for a sample of US and UK biomedical scientists, but can be applied to any countries where scientists’ CVs are available in English. We provide an overview of the motivations for constructing the database, and the data crawling and data mining techniques used to transform webpage - based information and CV information into a relational database. We describe the database and the effectiveness of our algorithms a nd provide suggestions for further improvements. The software developed is released under free software GNU General Public License ; the aim is for it to be available to the community of social scientists and economists interested in analysing scientific production and scientific careers, who it is hoped will develop this tool further.
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: Olivier Marie; Ulf Zölitz
    Abstract: This paper investigates how legal cannabis access affects student performance. Identification comes from an exceptional policy introduced in the city of Maastricht which discriminated legal access based on individuals' nationality. We apply a difference-in-difference approach using administrative panel data on over 54,000 course grades of local students enrolled at Maastricht University before and during the partial cannabis prohibition. We find that the academic performance of students who are no longer legally permitted to buy cannabis increases substantially. Grade improvements are driven by younger students, and the effects are stronger for women and low performers. In line with how THC consumption affects cognitive functioning, we find that performance gains are larger for courses that require more numerical/mathematical skills. We investigate the underlying channels using students' course evaluations and present suggestive evidence that performance gains are driven by improved understanding of material rather than changes in students' study effort.
    Keywords: Cannabis, legalization, student performance
    JEL: I18 I20 K42
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Lawson, Cornelia; Geuna, Aldo; Ana Fernández-Zubieta; Toselli, Manuel; Kataishi, Rodrigo (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This chapter analyses the mobility of academic biomedical researchers in the US and the UK. Both countries are at the forefront of research in biomedicine, and able to attract promising researchers from other countries as well as fostering mobility between the US and the UK. Using a database of 292 UK based academics and 327 US based academics covering the period 1956 to 2012, the descriptive analysis shows a high level of international mobility at education level (BA, PhD and Postdoc) with small, but significant transatlantic exchanges, and shows high levels of cross-border mobility amongst senior academics based in the UK. There is a high level of career mobility with 50% of the sample having changed jobs at least once, and 40% having moved within academia. There is no significant difference in job-job mobility between the two countries although there are some interesting institutional differences concerning international and cross-sector mobility. The empirical analysis focuses on the importance of postdoctoral training in the US and the UK. The results indicate that working in the US is correlated to higher researcher performance in terms of both publication numbers and impact/quality adjusted publications (in top journals and average impact). The publications of researchers with postdoctoral experience are generally of a higher average impact. This applies especially to postdoc experience at top-quality US institutions although a postdoc at a UK top institution is associated with higher top journal publications and higher average impact. In relation to the UK sample, we find that a US postdoc (especially in a top institution) is correlated to subsequent performance in the UK academic market. Finally, we see that US postdocs that stay in the US publish more and publications with higher impact/quality than those that move to the UK; however, these effects are stronger for those who studied for their PhD degree outside the US. Therefore, we find some evidence that the US is able to retain high performing incoming PhD graduates.
    Date: 2015–02

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