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Incentives for Interdisciplinary Research

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Abstract

This paper is a positive analysis of the driving forces in interdisciplinary research. I take the perspective of a research institution that has to decide how to apply its resources among the production of two types of knowledge: specialized or interdisciplinary. Using a prize mechanism of compensation, I show that the choice of interdisciplinarity is compatible with profit maximization when the requirement for the production is sufficiently demanding, and when the new interdisciplinary field is not too neutral. Productive gains due to complementarities of efforts is the main advantage of interdisciplinary organization.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabel Maria Medalho Pereira, 2007. "Incentives for Interdisciplinary Research," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 720.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:720.07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
    2. Betts, Julian R, 1998. "The Impact of Educational Standards on the Level and Distribution of Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 266-275, March.
    3. Jacques Crémer & Luis Garicano & Andrea Prat, 2007. "Language and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 373-407.
    4. Costrell, Robert M, 1994. "A Simple Model of Educational Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 956-971, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Lacetera, 2009. "Academic entrepreneurship," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 443-464.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    scientific research; specialization; interdisciplinarity; adaptative-skills; prizes; standards;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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