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Effects of social interactions on Scientists’ productivity

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  • Maria Rosaria Carillo
  • Erasmo Papagni
  • Fabian Capitanio

Abstract

Recent economic research has focused on the economic effects of the social environment. In the economic literature, important phenomena are considered, at least in part, as results of the individual's social environment. There is a similar revival of interest among economists who analyse the world of science and basic research. In this case as well, the environment plays a key role in the agent's behaviour. This paper makes an an empirical analysis of the influence of social interactions on scientists' productivity. In the econometric analysis we investigate the aggregate importance of this phenomenon through the analysis of data on publications in four scientific fields of seven advanced countries. We find that social interactions among researchers have positive effects on a scientist's productivity and that there is a U-shaped relation between the size of a scientific network and individual productivity. We interpret this result as providing evidence for threshold externalities and increasing returns to scale.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy in its series Discussion Papers with number 19_2006.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:prt:dpaper:19_2006

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References

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  1. Adair Morse, 2006. "Are elite universities losing their competitive edge?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Sanjeev Goyal & Marco van der Leij & José Luis Moraga-Gonzàlez, 2004. "Economics: An Emerging Small World?," Working Papers 2004.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Carayol, Nicolas & Matt, Mireille, 2006. "Individual and collective determinants of academic scientists' productivity," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 55-72, March.
  4. Tanya S. Rosenblat & Markus M. Mobius, 2004. "Getting Closer or Drifting Apart?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 971-1009, August.
  5. James D.ADAMS & Zvi GRILICHES, 1998. "Research Productivity in a System of Universities," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 127-162.
  6. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2001. "Non-Market Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1914, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
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  10. Bénabou, Roland, 1993. "Heterogeneity, Stratification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 815, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Martin L. Weitzman, 1995. "Recombinant Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1722, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2007. "Prizes for basic research: Human capital, economic might and the shadow of history," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 261-282, September.
  13. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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  15. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kim, E. Han & Morse, Adair & Zingales, Luigi, 2009. "Are elite universities losing their competitive edge?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 353-381, September.
  17. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Erasmo Papagni, 2006. "Academic Research, Social Interactions and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 9_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  18. Lazear, Edward P, 1997. "Incentives in Basic Research," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S167-97, January.
  19. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  20. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
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  22. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Recombinant Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 331-360, May.
  2. Carillo, Maria Rosaria & Papagni, Erasmo, 2007. "Social rewards in science and economic growth," MPRA Paper 2776, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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