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The Economics of Scientific Misconduct

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  • Nicola Lacetera
  • Lorenzo Zirulia

Abstract

This article presents a model of the research and publication process that analyzes why scientists commit fraud and how fraud can be detected and prevented. In the model, authors are asymmetrically informed about the success of their projects and can fraudulently manipulate their results. We show, first, that the types of scientific frauds that are observed are unlikely to be representative of the overall amount of malfeasance; also, star scientists are more likely to misbehave but less likely to be caught than average scientists. Second, a reduction in fraud verification costs may not lead to a reduction of misconduct episodes but rather to a change in the type of research that is performed. Third, a strong "publish or perish" pressure may reduce, and not increase, scientific misconduct because it motivates more scrutiny. Finally, a more active role of editors in checking for misconduct does not always provide additional deterrence. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 568-603

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:27:y::i:3:p:568-603

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  1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2007. "Replication in Economics," NBER Working Papers 13026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. List, John A, et al, 2001. "Academic Economists Behaving Badly? A Survey on Three Areas of Unethical Behavior," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(1), pages 162-70, January.
  3. Dewald, William G & Thursby, Jerry G & Anderson, Richard G, 1986. "Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Project," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 587-603, September.
  4. Alexander Dyck & Adair Morse & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Who Blows the Whistle on Corporate Fraud?," NBER Working Papers 12882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gary A. Hoover, 2004. "Whose Line Is It? Plagiarism in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 487-493, June.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser, 2006. "Researcher Incentives and Empirical Methods," NBER Technical Working Papers 0329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Economics Profession > Ethics in Economics > Plagiarism
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Cited by:
  1. Haeussler, Carolin & Jiang, Lin & Thursby, Jerry & Thursby, Marie, 2014. "Specific and general information sharing among competing academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 465-475.
  2. Lissoni, Francesco & Montobbio, Fabio & Zirulia, Lorenzo, 2013. "Inventorship and authorship as attribution rights: An enquiry into the economics of scientific credit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 49-69.
  3. Franzoni, Chiara & Sauermann, Henry, 2014. "Crowd science: The organization of scientific research in open collaborative projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-20.
  4. Henry Sauermann & Michael Roach, 2011. "Not All Scientists pay to be Scientists:," DRUID Working Papers 11-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  5. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Jensen, Kyle & Murray, Fiona, 2012. "Governing knowledge in the scientific community: Exploring the role of retractions in biomedicine," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 276-290.
  6. Carolin Haeussler & Lin Jiang & Jerry Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2009. "Specific and General Information Sharing Among Academic Scientists," NBER Working Papers 15315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2014. "Open Access to Research Data: Strategic Delay and the Ambiguous Welfare Effects of Mandatory Data Disclosure," Discussion Papers in Economics 21037, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.

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