IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp9897.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Did Cheaper Flights Change the Direction of Science?

Author

Listed:
  • Catalini, Christian

    () (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Fons-Rosen, Christian

    () (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Gaule, Patrick

    () (University of Bath)

Abstract

We test how a reduction in travel cost affects the rate and direction of scientific research. Using a fine-grained, scientist-level dataset within chemistry (1991-2012), we find that after Southwest Airlines enters a new route, scientific collaboration increases by 50%, an effect that is magnified when weighting output by quality. The benefits from the lower fares, however, are not uniform across scientist types: younger scientists and scientists that are more productive than their local peers respond the most. Thus, cheaper flights, by reducing frictions otherwise induced by geography and allowing for additional face-to-face interactions, seem to enable better matches over distance.

Suggested Citation

  • Catalini, Christian & Fons-Rosen, Christian & Gaule, Patrick, 2016. "Did Cheaper Flights Change the Direction of Science?," IZA Discussion Papers 9897, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9897
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp9897.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adams, James D. & Black, Grant C. & Clemmons, J. Roger & Stephan, Paula E., 2005. "Scientific teams and institutional collaborations: Evidence from U.S. universities, 1981-1999," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 259-285, April.
    2. Kim, E. Han & Morse, Adair & Zingales, Luigi, 2009. "Are elite universities losing their competitive edge?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 353-381, September.
    3. Ajay Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb, 2008. "Restructuring Research: Communication Costs and the Democratization of University Innovation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1578-1590, September.
    4. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
    5. Austan Goolsbee & Chad Syverson, 2008. "How Do Incumbents Respond to the Threat of Entry? Evidence from the Major Airlines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1611-1633.
    6. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
    7. Chris Forman & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2012. "From Wires to Partners: How the Internet Has Fostered R&D Collaborations Within Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1549-1568, August.
    8. repec:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:4:p:565-576 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Waverly W. Ding & Sharon G. Levin & Paula E. Stephan & Anne E. Winkler, 2010. "The Impact of Information Technology on Academic Scientists' Productivity and Collaboration Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(9), pages 1439-1461, September.
    10. Richard B. Freeman & Ina Ganguli & Raviv Murciano-Goroff, 2014. "Why and Wherefore of Increased Scientific Collaboration," NBER Chapters, in: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy, pages 17-48, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Steven A. Morrison, 2001. "Actual, Adjacent, and Potential Competition Estimating the Full Effect of Southwest Airlines," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 35(2), pages 239-256, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Filipe Campante & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2018. "Long-Range Growth: Economic Development in the Global Network of Air Links," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1395-1458.
    2. Jian Gao & Bogang Jun & Alex Sandy Pentland & Tao Zhou & Cesar A. Hidalgo, 2017. "Collective Learning in China's Regional Economic Development Formations of Co-Inventors During the Dot-com Bubble in the Research Triangle Region," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1706, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Mar 2017.
    3. Battiston, Diego & Blanes i Vidal, Jordi & Kirchmaier, Thomas, 2017. "Is distance dead? Face-to-face communication and productivity in teams," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 83603, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Xiaofang Dong & Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2018. "The Role of Transportation Speed in Facilitating High Skilled Teamwork," NBER Working Papers 24539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:114:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2588-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jian Gao & Bogang Jun & Alex Sandy Pentland & Tao Zhou & Cesar A. Hidalgo, 2017. "Collective Learning in China's Regional Economic Development," Papers 1703.01369, arXiv.org.
    7. Lukas Kuld & John O'Hagan, 2017. "Rise of Multi-authored Papers in Economics: Demise of the 'Lone Star' and Why?," Trinity Economics Papers tep0517, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    scientific collaboration; air travel; temporary co-location; face-to-face meetings;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9897. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.