AbstractWe estimate the magnitude of spillovers generated by 112 academic "superstars" who died pre- maturely and unexpectedly, thus providing an exogenous source of variation in the structure of their collaborators' coauthorship networks. Following the death of a superstar, we find that collaborators experience, on average, a lasting 5 to 8% decline in their quality-adjusted publication rates. By exploring interactions of the treatment effect with a variety of star, coauthor and star/coauthor dyad characteristics, we seek to adjudicate between plausible mechanisms that might explain this finding. Taken together, our results suggest that spillovers are circumscribed in idea space, but less so in physical or social space. In particular, superstar extinction reveals the boundaries of the scientific field to which the star contributes — the "invisible college."
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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O43 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-01-03 (Education)
- NEP-SOG-2009-01-03 (Sociology of Economics)
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- Benner, Mary & Waldfogel, Joel, 2008.
"Close to you? Bias and precision in patent-based measures of technological proximity,"
Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1556-1567, October.
- Mary Benner & Joel Waldfogel, 2007. "Close to You? Bias and Precision in Patent-Based Measures of Technological Proximity," NBER Working Papers 13322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Azoulay, Pierre & Stellman, Andrew & Zivin, Joshua Graff, 2006.
"PublicationHarvester: An open-source software tool for science policy research,"
Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 970-974, September.
- Pierre Azoulay & Andrew Stellman & Joshua Graff Zivin, 2006. "PublicationHarvester: An Open-Source Software Tool for Science Policy Research," NBER Working Papers 12039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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