IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10640.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Scientific Teams and Institution Collaborations: Evidence from U.S. Universities, 1981-1999

Author

Listed:
  • James D. Adams

Abstract

This paper explores recent trends in the size of scientific teams and in institutional collaborations. The data derive from 2.4 million scientific papers written in 110 leading U.S. research universities over the period 1981-1999. We measure team size by the number of authors on a scientific paper. Using this measure we find that team size increases by 50 percent over the 19-year period. We supplement team size with measures of domestic and foreign institutional collaborations, which capture the geographic dispersion of team workers. The time series evidence suggests that the trend towards larger and more dispersed teams accelerates at the start of the 1990s. This acceleration suggests a sudden decline in the cost of collaboration, perhaps due to improvements in telecommunications. Using a panel of top university departments we find that private universities and departments whose scientists have earned prestigious awards participate in larger teams, as do departments that have larger amounts of federal funding. Placement of former graduate students is a key determinant of institutional collaborations, especially collaborations with firms and foreign scientific institutions. Finally, the evidence indicates that scientific influence increases with team size and institutional collaborations. Since increasing team size implies an increase in the division of labor, these results suggest that scientific productivity increases with the scientific division of labor.

Suggested Citation

  • James D. Adams, 2004. "Scientific Teams and Institution Collaborations: Evidence from U.S. Universities, 1981-1999," NBER Working Papers 10640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10640
    Note: PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10640.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2002. "Studying Ourselves: The Academic Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 8965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sauer, Raymond D, 1988. "Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Coauthorship in Economic Academia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 855-866, August.
    4. Diana Hicks & J Sylvan Katz, 1996. "Science policy for a highly collaborative science system," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 39-44, February.
    5. James D. Adams, 2002. "Comparative localization of academic and industrial spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 253-278, July.
    6. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff S. Armstrong, 2003. "Commercializing knowledge: university science, knowledge capture and firm performance in biotechnology," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Sep, pages 149-170.
    7. James D. Adams & Eric P. Chiang & Jeffrey L. Jensen, 2003. "The Influence of Federal Laboratory R&D on Industrial Research," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1003-1020, November.
    8. Adams, James D & Chiang, Eric P & Starkey, Katara, 2001. "Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 73-86, January.
    9. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    10. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    11. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    12. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:05 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    14. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
    15. Dixit, Avinash K., 1990. "Optimization in Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198772101.
    16. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 33-58, January.
    17. James D. Adams & Mircea Marcu, 2004. "R&D Sourcing, Joint Ventures and Innovation: A Multiple Indicators Approach," NBER Working Papers 10474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Mowery, David C. & Simcoe, Timothy, 2002. "Is the Internet a US invention?--an economic and technological history of computer networking," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1369-1387, December.
    19. Eli M. Noam, 2001. "Interconnecting the Network of Networks," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262140721, March.
    20. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-379, June.
    21. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

    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:nbr:nberwo:10640. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.