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

Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?

  • Scott Stern

    ()

    (Department of Management and Strategy, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, and National Bureau of Economic Research)

Registered author(s):

    This paper explores the relationship between wages and the scientific orientation of R&D organizations. Firms that adopt a science-oriented research approach (i.e., "science") allow their researchers to pursue and publish an individual research agenda. The adoption of science may be associated with a "taste" for science on the part of researchers (a preference effect) and/or as a "ticket of admission" to gain earlier access to scientific discoveries with commercial application (a productivity effect). These two effects differ in their impact on wages. Whereas the preference effect contributes to a negative compensating differential, the productivity effect may result in rent sharing. However, because science may be adopted by firms employing higher-quality researchers, cross-sectional evaluations of wages and science may be biased by unobserved heterogeneity. To overcome this bias, this paper introduces a novel empirical approach. Specifically, prior to accepting a given job, many scientists receive multiple job offers, allowing for the calculation of the wage-science relationship and controlling for differences in salary levels offered to individual researchers. Using a dataset composed of multiple job offers to postdoctoral biologists, the results suggest a negative relationship between wages and science. These findings are robust to restricting the sample to nonacademic job offers, but the findings depend critically on the inclusion of researcher fixed effects. Conditional on perceived ability, scientists do indeed pay to be scientists.

    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://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1040.0241
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 50 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 835-853

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:6:p:835-853
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page: http://www.informs.org/Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    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:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:6:p:835-853. 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: (Mirko Janc)

    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.