The (Changing) Knowledge Production Function: Evidence from the MIT Department of Biology for 1970-2000
Considerable attention has been focused, in recent years, on the role that graduate and postdoc students play in the production of academic knowledge. Using data from the MIT Department of Biology for the period 1970-2000, we analyze the evolution over time of four fundamental aspects of their productivity: i) training duration; ii) time to a first publication; iii) productivity over the training period; and iv) collaboration with other scientists. We identified four main trends that are common to graduate students and postdocs. First, training periods have increased for later cohorts of graduate and postdoc students. Second, later cohorts tend to publish their initial first-author article later than the earlier cohorts. Third, they produce fewer first-author publications. Finally, collaborations with other scientists, as measured by the number of coauthors on a paper, have increased. This increase is driven by collaborations with scientists external to a trainee's laboratory. We interpret these results in light of the following two paradigms: the increased burden of knowledge that later generations of scientists face and the limited availability of permanent academic positions.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Forthcoming: The (Changing) Knowledge Production Function: Evidence from the MIT Department of Biology for 1970-2000 , Annamaria Conti, Christopher C. Liu. in The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy , Jaffe and Jones. 2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- 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.
- Romer, Paul M, 1990.
"Endogenous Technological Change,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
- Glenn Ellison, 2002.
"The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2005.
"The burden of knowledge and the ‘death of the Renaissance man’: Is innovation getting harder?,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2009. "The Burden of Knowledge and the "Death of the Renaissance Man": Is Innovation Getting Harder?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 283-317.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The Burden of Knowledge and the 'Death of the Renaissance Man': Is Innovation Getting Harder?," NBER Working Papers 11360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
- Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2008.
NBER Working Papers
14577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jasjit Singh & Lee Fleming, 2010. "Lone Inventors as Sources of Breakthroughs: Myth or Reality?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 41-56, January.
- Chris CM Forman & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2012.
"From wires to partners: How the Internet has fostered R&D collaborations within firms,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/105990, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- 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.
- 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 1578-90, September.
- Ajay K. Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb, 2006. "Restructuring Research: Communication Costs and the Democratization of University Innovation," NBER Working Papers 12812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grant C. Black & Paula E. Stephan, 2010. "The Economics of University Science and the Role of Foreign Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars," NBER Chapters, in: American Universities in a Global Market, pages 129-161 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Partha, Dasgupta & David, Paul A., 1994. "Toward a new economics of science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-521, September.
- Benjamin F. Jones, 2010. "Age and Great Invention," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-14, February.
- Fabian Waldinger, 2010. "Quality Matters: The Expulsion of Professors and the Consequences for PhD Student Outcomes in Nazi Germany," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 787-831, 08.
- Michaël Bikard & Fiona E. Murray & Joshua Gans, 2013. "Exploring Tradeoffs in the Organization of Scientific Work: Collaboration and Scientific Reward," NBER Working Papers 18958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20037. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.