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Status, Quality, and Attention: What's in a (Missing) Name?

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Author Info

  • Timothy S. Simcoe

    ()
    (Boston University School of Management, Boston, Massachusetts 02215; and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138)

  • Dave M. Waguespack

    ()
    (Management and Organization Department, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742)

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    Abstract

    How much are we influenced by an author's identity when evaluating his or her work? This paper exploits a natural experiment to measure the impact of status signals in the context of open standards development. For a period of time, e-mails announcing new submissions to the Internet Engineering Task Force would replace individual author names with "et al." if submission volumes were unusually high. We measure the impact of status signals by comparing the effect of obscuring high- versus low-status author names. Our results show that name-based signals can explain up to three-quarters of the difference in publication rates between high- and low-status authors. The signaling effect disappears for a set of prescreened proposals that receive more scrutiny than a typical submission, suggesting that status signals are more important when attention is scarce (or search costs high). We also show that submissions from high-status authors receive more attention on electronic discussion boards, which may help high-status authors to develop their ideas and bring them forward to publication. This paper was accepted by Jesper Sørensen, organizations.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1270
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 274-290

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:2:p:274-290

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    Related research

    Keywords: status; technology; sociology of science;

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    Cited by:
    1. Hussinger, Katrin & Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "The value of disclosing IPR to open standard setting organizations," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Haeussler, Carolin & Sauermann, Henry, 2013. "Credit where credit is due? The impact of project contributions and social factors on authorship and inventorship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 688-703.
    3. Michaël Bikard & Fiona E. Murray & Joshua Gans, 2013. "Exploring Tradeoffs in the Organization of Scientific Work: Collaboration and Scientific Reward," NBER Working Papers 18958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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