Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Incentives and Creativity: Evidence from the Academic Life Sciences

Contents:

Author Info

  • Pierre Azoulay
  • Joshua S. Graff Zivin
  • Gustavo Manso

Abstract

Despite its presumed role as an engine of economic growth, we know surprisingly little about the drivers of scientific creativity. In this paper, we exploit key differences across funding streams within the academic life sciences to estimate the impact of incentives on the rate and direction of scientific exploration. Specifically, we study the careers of investigators of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which tolerates early failure, rewards long-term success, and gives its appointees great freedom to experiment; and grantees from the National Institute of Health, which are subject to short review cycles, pre-defined deliverables, and renewal policies unforgiving of failure. Using a combination of propensity-score weighting and difference-in-differences estimation strategies, we find that HHMI investigators produce high- impact papers at a much higher rate than a control group of similarly-accomplished NIH-funded scientists. Moreover, the direction of their research changes in ways that suggest the program induces them to explore novel lines of inquiry.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15466.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15466.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15466

Note: PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Recombinant Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 331-360, May.
  2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  3. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Alberto Abadie, 2005. "Semiparametric Difference-in-Differences Estimators," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-19.
  6. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2007. "The Impact of Research Grant Funding on Scientific Productivity," NBER Working Papers 13519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Jeremy C. Stein, 2005. "Academic Freedom, Private-Sector Focus, and the Process of Innovation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2089, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2008. "Superstar Extinction," NBER Working Papers 14577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2002. "Inverse probability weighted M-estimators for sample selection, attrition and stratification," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-32, Nov.-Dec..
  11. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Matthias Krapf & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Christian Zimmermann, 2014. "Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe," Working Paper Series 01_14, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  2. Baranchuk, Nina & Kieschnick, Robert & Moussawi, Rabih, 2014. "Motivating innovation in newly public firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 578-588.
  3. Hottenrott, Hanna & Lawson, Cornelia, 2013. "Fishing for Complementarities: Competitive Research Funding and Research Productivity," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201318, University of Turin.
  4. Joshua S. Gans & Fiona Murray, 2013. "Credit History: The Changing Nature of Scientific Credit," NBER Working Papers 19538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik, 2014. "Young, Restless and Creative: Openness to Disruption and Creative Innovations," PIER Working Paper Archive 14-004, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Francis Bidault & Thomas Hildebrand, 2012. "The distribution of partnerships benefits: Evidence from co-authorships in economics journals," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-12-08, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  7. Conor O'kane & James Cunningham & Vincent Mangematin, 2012. "Underpinning Strategic Behaviours and Posture of Principal Investigators in Transition/Uncertain Environments," Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management hal-00794944, HAL.
  8. Sauermann, Henry & Roach, Michael, 2013. "Increasing web survey response rates in innovation research: An experimental study of static and dynamic contact design features," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 273-286.
  9. He, Jie (Jack) & Tian, Xuan, 2013. "The dark side of analyst coverage: The case of innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 856-878.
  10. Sampat, Bhaven N., 2012. "Mission-oriented biomedical research at the NIH," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1729-1741.
  11. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge Across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Working Papers 16683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Goodall, Amanda H. & McDowell, John M. & Singell, Larry D., 2014. "Leadership and the Research Productivity of University Departments," IZA Discussion Papers 7903, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Conor O'kane & James Cunningham & Vincent Mangematin, 2012. "Underpinning Strategic Behaviours and Posture of Principal Investigators in Transition/Uncertain Environments," Working Papers hal-00794944, HAL.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15466. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.