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Research Cycles

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  • Bramoullé, Yann
  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

Abstract

This paper studies the dynamics of fundamental research. We develop a simple model where researchers allocate their effort between improving existing fields and inventing new ones. A key assumption is that scientists derive utility from recognition from other scientists. We show that the economy can be either in a regime where new fields are constantly invented, and then converges to a steady state, or in a cyclical regime where periods of innovation alternate with periods of exploitation. Our analysis provides a rigorous foundation to the Kuhnian theory of scientific evolution. We show that scientists' care for reputation has a strong impact on research dynamics and tends to favor innovation. Especially, innovation fads may emerge. We also study welfare and find that the academic reputational reward system can help align scientists' short-term incentives with society's long-term interests.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 422.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Theory, vol.�145, n°5, septembre 2010, p.�1890-1920.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:5500

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References

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  1. Boyan Jovanovic & Rafael Rob, 1990. "Long Waves and Short Waves: Growth Through Intensive and Extensive Search," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2082, David K. Levine.
  2. repec:att:wimass:9707 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Michele Boldrin & David K. Levine, 2005. "The economics of ideas and intellectual property," Staff Report 357, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. "Implementation Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1163-90, December.
  5. Sanjeev Goyal & Marco van der Leij & José Luis Moraga Gonzales, 2004. "Economics: An Emerging Small World?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1287, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 1997. "A Formal Model of Theory Choice in Science," Research in Economics 97-04-031e, Santa Fe Institute.
  7. Partha, Dasgupta & David, Paul A., 1994. "Toward a new economics of science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-521, September.
  8. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1972. "The Valuation of Option Contracts and a Test of Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(2), pages 399-417, May.
  9. Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1996. "Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1299-1310, November.
  10. Matsuyama, K., 1996. "Growing through cycles," DELTA Working Papers 96-18, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-72, June.
  12. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change And Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089, November.
  13. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1996. " Research and Development in the Growth Process," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 49-73, March.
  14. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
  15. Arthur M. Diamond Jr., 1986. "What is a Citation Worth?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 200-215.
  16. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Javier Gómez Pineda, 2008. "El crecimiento económico y la supervivencia: el caso de las matemáticas y la economía"," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004579, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590527 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Cozzi, Guido & Galli, Silvia, 2013. "Privatization of Knowledge: Did the U.S. Get It Right?," Economics Working Paper Series 1307, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  4. Damien Besancenot & Habib Dogguy, 2011. "Paradigm Shift," CEPN Working Papers halshs-00590527, HAL.

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