Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics
AbstractThis paper studies life cycle creativity among Nobel laureate economists. We identify two distinct life cycles of scholarly creativity. Experimental innovators work inductively, accumulating knowledge from experience. Conceptual innovators work deductively, applying abstract principles. We find that conceptual innovators do their most important work earlier in their careers than experimental laureates. For instance, our estimates imply that the probability that the most conceptual laureate publishes his single best work peaks at age 25 compared to the mid-50s for the most experimental laureate. Thus while experience benefits experimental innovators, newness to a field benefits conceptual innovators.
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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-12-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-CUL-2005-12-01 (Cultural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2005-12-01 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2005-12-01 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOG-2005-12-01 (Sociology of Economics)
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