The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians
AbstractIt has been difficult to open up the black box of knowledge production. We use unique international data on the publications, citations, and affiliations of mathematicians to examine the impact of a large, post-1992 influx of Soviet mathematicians on the productivity of their U.S. counterparts. We find a negative productivity effect on those mathematicians whose research overlapped with that of the Soviets. We also document an increased mobility rate (to lower quality institutions and out of active publishing) and a reduced likelihood of producing "home run" papers. Although the total product of the preexisting American mathematicians shrank, the Soviet contribution to American mathematics filled in the gap. However, there is no evidence that the Soviets greatly increased the size of the "mathematics pie." Finally, we find that there are significant international differences in the productivity effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and these international differences can be explained by both differences in the size of the émigré flow into the various countries and in how connected each country is to the global market for mathematical publications. JEL Codes: O31, J61. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 127 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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Other versions of this item:
- Doran, Kirk & Borjas, George J., 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," Scholarly Articles 8160722, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
- George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," NBER Working Papers 17800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kirk Doran & Kirk Doran, 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," Working Papers 002, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2012.
- Borjas, George J. & Doran, Kirk B., 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," Working Paper Series rwp12-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
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