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Restructuring Research: Communication Costs and the Democratization of University Innovation

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Author Info

  • Ajay Agrawal
  • Avi Goldfarb

Abstract

We report evidence that Bitnet adoption facilitated increased research collaboration between US universities. However, not all institutions benefited equally. Using panel data from seven top engineering journals, Bitnet connection records, and institution ranking data, we find that middle-tier universities were the primary beneficiaries; they benefited largely by increasing their collaboration with top-tier schools. Furthermore, we find that the magnitude of this effect is greatest for co-located pairs. Thus, the advent of Bitnet – and likely of subsequent networks – seems to have increased the role of middle-tier universities as producers of new knowledge in the national innovation system. (JEL D85, I23, O31, O33)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.98.4.1578
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1578-90

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:4:p:1578-90

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.4.1578
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  1. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 2000. "The Impact of Information Technology on Emergency Health Care Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tanya S. Rosenblat & Markus M. Mobius, 2004. "Getting Closer or Drifting Apart?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 971-1009, August.
  3. Han Kim, E & Morse, Adair & Zingales, Luigi, 2006. "Are Elite Universities Losing their Competitive Edge?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5700, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Sharon M. Oster, 2002. "Tools or Toys? The Impact of High Technology on Scholarly Productivity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 539-555, October.
  5. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
  6. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 2002. "The Impact of Information Technology on Emergency Health Care Outcomes," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(3), pages 399-432, Autumn.
  7. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
  8. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  9. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Adair Morse, 2006. "Are elite universities losing their competitive edge?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. George P. Baker & Thomas N. Hubbard, 2003. "Make Versus Buy in Trucking: Asset Ownership, Job Design, and Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 551-572, June.
  12. Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2005. "Measurement and Explanation of the Intensity of Co-publication in Scientific Research: An Analysis at the Laboratory Level," NBER Working Papers 11172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. RePEc and the democratization of research
    by Christian Zimmermann in RePEc blog on 2008-12-09 21:37:20
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