nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2022‒07‒18
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. The Academic Market and the Rise of Universities in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (1000-1800) By David de la Croix; Frédéric Docquier; Alice Fabre; Robert Stelter
  2. Gender and Underrepresented Minority Differences in Research Funding By Laura Cruz-Castro; Donna K. Ginther; Luis Sanz-Menendez
  3. Integrity and security in the global research ecosystem By OECD
  4. Remote Collaboration Fuses Fewer Breakthrough Ideas By Yiling Lin; Carl Benedikt Frey; Lingfei Wu

  1. By: David de la Croix; Frédéric Docquier; Alice Fabre; Robert Stelter
    Abstract: We argue that market forces shaped the geographic distribution of upper-tail human capital across Europe during the Middle Ages, and contributed to bolstering universities at the dawn of the Humanistic and Scientific Revolutions. We build a unique database of thousands of scholars from university sources covering all of Europe, construct an index of their ability, and map the academic market in the medieval and early modern periods. We show that scholars tended to concentrate in the best universities (agglomeration), that better scholars were more sensitive to the quality of the university (positive sorting) and migrated over greater distances (positive selection). Agglomeration, selection and sorting patterns testify to an integrated academic market, made possible by the use of a common language (Latin).
    Keywords: human capital; universities; discrete choice model; scholars; publications; agglomeration
    JEL: N33
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Laura Cruz-Castro; Donna K. Ginther; Luis Sanz-Menendez
    Abstract: This chapter reviews the data and literature on gender, race and ethnicity differences in research funding in the United States and Europe. The gender gap in research funding has closed at the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health in the United States and substantially narrowed in Europe. Underrepresented minorities are less likely to receive research funding that whites in the United States. We found that much of the literature was a series of informative independent studies where many of the potential explanations depended upon the context. Our examination of peer review also found contradictory evidence of its efficacy. The variety of countries, funders, and approaches to peer review make it difficult to make definitive conclusions in the face of contradictory evidence on the gender funding gap. We conclude that access to high-quality administrative data would allow for improved methodological approaches to understanding these differences in research funding.
    JEL: O3 O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2022–06
  3. By: OECD
    Abstract: Responsibilities for research integrity and security are distributed across multiple actors in the international research ecosystem. These include, national governments, research funding agencies, research institutions, universities, academic associations, and intergovernmental organisations. This report describes policy initiatives and actions to safeguard national and economic security whilst protecting freedom of enquiry, promoting international research cooperation, and ensuring openness and non-discrimination. It includes examples of actions that are being taking to prevent foreign interference, manage risks, and help ensure trust in science in the future, and offers recommendations to help countries develop effective policies to strengthen research security as part of a broader framework of research integrity.
    Date: 2022–06–22
  4. By: Yiling Lin; Carl Benedikt Frey; Lingfei Wu
    Abstract: Scientists and inventors around the world are more plentiful and interconnected today than ever before. But while there are more people making discoveries, and more ideas that can be reconfigured in novel ways, research suggests that new ideas are getting harder to find-contradicting recombinant growth theory. In this paper, we shed new light on this apparent puzzle. Analyzing 20 million research articles and 4 million patent applications across the globe over the past half-century, we begin by documenting the rise of remote collaboration across locations, underlining the growing interconnectedness of scientists and inventors globally. However, we also show that for all fields, periods, and team sizes, researchers in these distributed teams are consistently less likely to make breakthrough discoveries relative to their onsite counterparts. Using a novel dataset that allows us to explore the division of labor within each team, we find that distributed team members tend to collaborate in technical tasks-like collecting and analyzing data-but are less likely to join forces in conceptual tasks, such as conceiving new ideas and designing research. Hence, while remote teams collaborate in theory, actual cooperation centers on late-stage, technical project tasks, involving more codified knowledge. We conclude that despite striking improvements in remote work technology in recent years, remote teams are less likely to integrate existing knowledge to produce new, disruptive ideas. This also provides an explanation for why new ideas are getting harder to find.
    Date: 2022–06

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