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Is there a first mover advantage in science? Pioneering behavior and scientific production in nanotechnology

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  • Sabatier, Mareva
  • Chollet, Barthélemy

Abstract

This article investigates whether pioneers in a research field have a sustainable first mover advantage in publications. Combining bibliometric (publications, citations, co-authorship) with survey data on 495 nanotechnology researchers, we analyzed career attributes, professional context and production overtime. Our econometric estimates highlight two main results. First, pioneering behavior is not exogenous: it is more probable among scientists who are already established in their “mother-discipline” (before entering nanotechnology), have a strong collaboration network, and have easy access to field-specific resources. Second, even after controlling for the endogeneity of entry timing, we find a strong first mover advantage: pioneers in the emerging field exhibit significantly higher scientific production in that field in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabatier, Mareva & Chollet, Barthélemy, 2017. "Is there a first mover advantage in science? Pioneering behavior and scientific production in nanotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 522-533.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:2:p:522-533
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2017.01.003
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    Keywords

    First mover advantage; Scientific production; Pioneering behavior; Nanotechnology;

    JEL classification:

    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models

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