IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Incentives and creativity: evidence from the academic life sciences

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

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.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2011.00140.x
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 527-554

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:42:y:2011:i:3:p:527-554
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, California 90407-2138
Phone: 310-393-0411
Fax: 310-393-4818
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0741-6261
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0741-6261

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. 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.
  2. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2010. "Superstar Extinction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 549-589, May.
  3. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0701, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity score matching methods for non-experimental causal studies," Discussion Papers 0102-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Alberto Abadie, 2005. "Semiparametric Difference-in-Differences Estimators," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-19.
  7. Martin L. Weitzman, 1995. "Recombinant Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1722, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Performance Pay and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1168-1177, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:42:y:2011:i:3:p:527-554. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.