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Bombs, Brains, and Science: The Role of Human and Physical Capital for the Creation of Scientific Knowledge

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  • Waldinger, Fabian

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the e¤ects of human capital (HC) and physical capital (PC) for the productivity of science departments. To address the endogeneity of input choices I use two extensive but temporary shocks to the HC and PC of science departments. As HC shock I use the dismissal of mostly Jewish scientists in Nazi Germany. As PC shock I use the destruction of facilities by Allied bombings during WWII. In the short run, a 10 percent to HC lowered departmental productivity by about 0.21sd. A 10 percent shock to PC lowered departmental productivity by about 0.05sd in the short run. While the HC shock persisted until the end of my sample period (1980), departments experiencing a PC shock recovered very quickly (by 1961). Additional results show that the dismissal ‘star scientists’was particularly detrimental, and that a fall in the quality of hires was an important mechanism for the persistence of the HC shock.

Suggested Citation

  • Waldinger, Fabian, 2012. "Bombs, Brains, and Science: The Role of Human and Physical Capital for the Creation of Scientific Knowledge," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 78, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:78
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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/78.2012_waldinger.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel & Mutlu Yuksel, 2015. "The Long-Term Direct and External Effects of Jewish Expulsions in Nazi Germany," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 58-85, August.
    2. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Incentives and creativity: evidence from the academic life sciences," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(3), pages 527-554, September.
    3. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Marc Schramm, 2004. "The strategic bombing of German cities during World War II and its impact on city growth," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 201-218, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:nbr:nberch:14016 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. William R. Kerr, 2013. "U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Iris Kesternich & Bettina Siflinger & James P. Smith & Joachim K. Winter, 2014. "The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 103-118, March.
    4. Naudé, Wim & Nagler, Paula, 2017. "Technological Innovation and Inclusive Growth in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 11194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Patrick A. Puhani, 2015. "Employment industry and occupational continuity in Germany: from the Nazi regime to the post-war economic miracle," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(8), pages 603-612, May.
    6. Wim Naudé & Paula Nagler, 2018. "Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Productivity in Germany, 1871-2015," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-02, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    7. Ajay Agrawal & John McHale & Alexander Oettl, 2014. "Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing Organization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary Biology," NBER Chapters,in: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy, pages 75-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Agrawal, Ajay & McHale, John & Oettl, Alexander, 2017. "How stars matter: Recruiting and peer effects in evolutionary biology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 853-867.
    9. Geerling, Wayne & Magee, Gary & Raschky, Paul & Smyth, Russell, 2017. "Legally Irrelevant Factors in Judicial Decision-making: Battle Deaths and the Imposition of the Death Penalty in Nazi Germany," MPRA Paper 77159, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

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