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Peer Effects in Science: Evidence from the Dismissal of Scientists in Nazi Germany

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  • Fabian Waldinger

Abstract

This paper analyses peer effects among university scientists. Specifically, it investigates whether the quality and the number of peers affect the productivity of researchers in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. The usual endogeneity problems related to estimating peer effects are addressed by using the dismissal of scientists by the Nazi government in 1933 as a source of exogenous variation in the peer group of scientists staying in Germany. To investigate localized peer effects, I construct a new panel data set covering the universe of scientists at the German universities from 1925 to 1938 from historical sources. I find no evidence for peer effects at the local level. Even very high-quality scientists do not affect the productivity of their local peers. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdr029
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 79 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 838-861

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:79:y:2012:i:2:p:838-861

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  1. Departmental characteristics play an important role in determining the productivity of individual researchers
    by Blog Admin in Impact of Social Sciences on 2013-06-27 10:40:20
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