IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The (Changing) Knowledge Production Function: Evidence from the MIT Department of Biology for 1970-2000

  • Annamaria Conti
  • Christopher C. Liu
Registered author(s):

    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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20037.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20037.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    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
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20037
    Note: ED PE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    Email:


    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.:

    as in new window
    1. 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.
    2. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
    3. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2008. "Superstar Extinction," NBER Working Papers 14577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jasjit Singh & Lee Fleming, 2010. "Lone Inventors as Sources of Breakthroughs: Myth or Reality?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 41-56, January.
    5. Partha, Dasgupta & David, Paul A., 1994. "Toward a new economics of science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-521, September.
    6. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," NBER Working Papers 7804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. 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.
    13. Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The burden of knowledge and the ‘death of the Renaissance man’: Is innovation getting harder?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    14. Benjamin F. Jones, 2010. "Age and Great Invention," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-14, February.
    15. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    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 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.