The Impact of Information Technology on Scientistsâ€™ Productivity, Quality and Collaboration Patterns
AbstractThis study advances the prior literature concerning the impact of information technology on productivity in academe in two important ways. First, it utilizes a dataset that combines information on the diffusion of two noteworthy and early innovations in IT -- BITNET and the Domain Name System (DNS) -- with career history data on research-active life scientists. This research design allows for proper identification of the availability of access to IT as well as a means to directly identify causal effects. Second, the fine-grained nature of the data set allows for an investigation of three publishing outcomes: counts, quality, and co-authorship. Our analysis of a random sample of 3,771 research-active life scientists from 430 U.S. institutions over a 25-year period supports the hypothesis of a differential return to IT across subgroups of the scientific labor force. Women scientists, early-to-mid-career scientists, and those employed by mid-to-lower-tier institutions benefit from access to IT in terms of overall research output and an increase in the number of new co-authors they work with. Early-career scientists and those in top-tier institutions gain in terms of research quality when IT becomes available at their campuses.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt80n3512q.
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
JEL O33; J44; J16;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- JEL - Labor and Demographic Economics - - - - -
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
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