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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

Abstract

I examine the role of human and physical capital for the creation of scientific knowledge. I address the endogeneity of human and physical capital with two exogenous shocks: the dismissal of scientists in Nazi Germany and World War II bombings. A 10% shock to human capital reduced output by 0.2 SD in the short run, and the reduction persisted in the long run. A 10% shock to physical capital reduced output by 0.05 SD in the short run, and the reduction did not persist. The dismissal of star scientists caused much larger reductions in output because they are key for attracting other successful scientists.

Suggested Citation

  • Waldinger, Fabian, 2016. "Bombs, brains, and science: the role of human and physical capital for the creation of scientific knowledge," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68561, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:68561
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    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. repec:oup:ereveh:v:22:y:2018:i:1:p:1-27. is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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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