IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/21146.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Career Effects of Scandal: Evidence from Scientific Retractions

Author

Listed:
  • Pierre Azoulay
  • Alessandro Bonatti
  • Joshua L. Krieger

Abstract

We investigate how the scientific community's perception of a scientist's prior work changes when one of his articles is retracted. Relative to non-retracted control authors, faculty members who experience a retraction see the citation rate to their earlier, non-retracted articles drop by 10% on average, consistent with the Bayesian intuition that the market inferred their work was mediocre all along. We then investigate whether the eminence of the retracted author and the cause of the retraction (fraud vs. mistake) shape the magnitude of the penalty. We find that eminent scientists are more harshly penalized than their less distinguished peers in the wake of a retraction, but only in cases involving fraud or misconduct. When the retraction event had its source in “honest mistakes,” we find no evidence of differential stigma between high- and low-status faculty members.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Azoulay & Alessandro Bonatti & Joshua L. Krieger, 2015. "The Career Effects of Scandal: Evidence from Scientific Retractions," NBER Working Papers 21146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21146
    Note: PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21146.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Suraj Srinivasan, 2005. "Consequences of Financial Reporting Failure for Outside Directors: Evidence from Accounting Restatements and Audit Committee Members," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 291-334, May.
    2. Ryan Lampe, 2012. "Strategic Citation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 320-333, February.
    3. Fich, Eliezer M. & Shivdasani, Anil, 2007. "Financial fraud, director reputation, and shareholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 306-336, November.
    4. Bonatti, Alessandro & Hörner, Johannes, 2017. "Learning to disagree in a game of experimentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 234-269.
    5. Jeffrey L. Furman & Scott Stern, 2011. "Climbing atop the Shoulders of Giants: The Impact of Institutions on Cumulative Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1933-1963, August.
    6. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2010. "Superstar Extinction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 549-589.
    7. Nicola Lacetera & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2011. "The Economics of Scientific Misconduct," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 568-603.
    8. Azoulay, Pierre & Stellman, Andrew & Zivin, Joshua Graff, 2006. "PublicationHarvester: An open-source software tool for science policy research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 970-974, September.
    9. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. David W. Prince & Paul H. Rubin, 2002. "The Effects of Product Liability Litigation on the Value of Firms," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 44-87, January.
    11. N/A, 2015. "Retraction Notice," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 29(2), pages 194-194, May.
    12. Jarrell, Gregg & Peltzman, Sam, 1985. "The Impact of Product Recalls on the Wealth of Sellers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 512-536, June.
    13. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-720, May.
    14. Bonatti, Alessandro & Hörner, Johannes, 2017. "Career concerns with exponential learning," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(1), January.
    15. Simon Board & Moritz Meyer‐ter‐Vehn, 2013. "Reputation for Quality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2381-2462, November.
    16. Partha, Dasgupta & David, Paul A., 1994. "Toward a new economics of science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 487-521, September.
    17. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Jensen, Kyle & Murray, Fiona, 2012. "Governing knowledge in the scientific community: Exploring the role of retractions in biomedicine," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 276-290.
    18. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
    19. David Dranove & Subramaniam Ramanarayanan & Yasutora Watanabe, 2012. "Delivering Bad News: Market Responses to Negligence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-25.
    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. Hussinger, Katrin & Pellens, Maikel, 2019. "Guilt by association: How scientific misconduct harms prior collaborators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 516-530.
    2. Nagler, Markus & Sorg, Stefan, 2019. "The Disciplinary Effect of Post-Grant Review," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 155, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Ivan Heibi & Silvio Peroni, 2021. "A qualitative and quantitative analysis of open citations to retracted articles: the Wakefield 1998 et al.'s case," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(10), pages 8433-8470, October.
    4. Zunino, Diego & van Praag, Mirjam C. & Dushnitsky, Gary, 2017. "Badge of Honor or Scarlet Letter? Unpacking Investors' Judgment of Entrepreneurs' Past Failure," IZA Discussion Papers 11017, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Sorana D Bolboacă & Diana-Victoria Buhai & Maria Aluaș & Adriana E Bulboacă, 2019. "Post retraction citations among manuscripts reporting a radiology-imaging diagnostic method," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(6), pages 1-14, June.
    6. Masoud Shadnam & Andrew Crane & Thomas B. Lawrence, 2020. "Who Calls It? Actors and Accounts in the Social Construction of Organizational Moral Failure," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 165(4), pages 699-717, September.
    7. March, Raymond J. & Geloso, Vincent, 2020. "Gordon Tullock meets Phineas Gage: The political economy of lobotomies in the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
    8. Lingzi Feng & Junpeng Yuan & Liying Yang, 2020. "An observation framework for retracted publications in multiple dimensions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(2), pages 1445-1457, November.
    9. M. D. Ribeiro & S. M. R. Vasconcelos, 2018. "Retractions covered by Retraction Watch in the 2013–2015 period: prevalence for the most productive countries," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 114(2), pages 719-734, February.
    10. S. P. J. M. Horbach & W. Halffman, 2019. "The ability of different peer review procedures to flag problematic publications," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 118(1), pages 339-373, January.
    11. Bergemann, Dirk & Ottaviani, Marco, 2021. "Information Markets and Nonmarkets," CEPR Discussion Papers 16459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Nagler, Markus & Sorg, Stefan, 2020. "The disciplinary effect of post-grant review – Causal evidence from European patent opposition," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(3).
    13. Kiri, Bralind & Lacetera, Nicola & Zirulia, Lorenzo, 2018. "Above a swamp: A theory of high-quality scientific production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 827-839.
    14. Horton, Joanne & Krishna Kumar, Dhanya & Wood, Anthony, 2020. "Detecting academic fraud using Benford law: The case of Professor James Hunton," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(8).
    15. Mohan, Vijay, 2019. "On the use of blockchain-based mechanisms to tackle academic misconduct," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    16. Salandra, Rossella & Criscuolo, Paola & Salter, Ammon, 2021. "Directing scientists away from potentially biased publications: the role of systematic reviews in health care," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1).
    17. Salandra, Rossella, 2018. "Knowledge dissemination in clinical trials: Exploring influences of institutional support and type of innovation on selective reporting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(7), pages 1215-1228.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pierre Azoulay & Jeffrey L. Furman & Joshua L. Krieger & Fiona E. Murray, 2012. "Retractions," NBER Working Papers 18499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Jensen, Kyle & Murray, Fiona, 2012. "Governing knowledge in the scientific community: Exploring the role of retractions in biomedicine," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 276-290.
    3. Conti, Annamaria & Liu, Christopher C., 2015. "Bringing the lab back in: Personnel composition and scientific output at the MIT Department of Biology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1633-1644.
    4. Hussinger, Katrin & Pellens, Maikel, 2019. "Guilt by association: How scientific misconduct harms prior collaborators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 516-530.
    5. Wong, Tsz-Ning & Yang, Lily Ling, 2021. "Dynamic expert incentives in teams," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 27-47.
    6. Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick & Mueller-Langer, Frank, 2014. "Open access to data: An ideal professed but not practised," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1621-1633.
    7. Gans, Joshua S. & Murray, Fiona E. & Stern, Scott, 2017. "Contracting over the disclosure of scientific knowledge: Intellectual property and academic publication," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 820-835.
    8. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Fecher, Benedikt & Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Gert G., 2019. "Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 62-83.
    9. Haeussler, Carolin & Sauermann, Henry, 2020. "Division of labor in collaborative knowledge production: The role of team size and interdisciplinarity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(6).
    10. Salandra, Rossella, 2018. "Knowledge dissemination in clinical trials: Exploring influences of institutional support and type of innovation on selective reporting," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(7), pages 1215-1228.
    11. Azoulay, Pierre & Ganguli, Ina & Graff Zivin, Joshua, 2017. "The mobility of elite life scientists: Professional and personal determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 573-590.
    12. Liu, Chelsea & Aharony, Joseph & Richardson, Grant & Yawson, Alfred, 2016. "Corporate litigation and changes in CEO reputation: Guidance from U.S. Federal Court lawsuits," Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 15-34.
    13. Haeussler, Carolin & Jiang, Lin & Thursby, Jerry & Thursby, Marie, 2014. "Specific and general information sharing among competing academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 465-475.
    14. Drivas, Kyriakos & Kremmydas, Dimitris, 2020. "The Matthew effect of a journal's ranking," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    15. Drivas, Kyriakos & Lei, Zhen & Wright, Brian D., 2017. "Academic patent licenses: Roadblocks or signposts for nonlicensee cumulative innovation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 282-303.
    16. Hohberger, Jan, 2016. "Does it pay to stand on the shoulders of giants? An analysis of the inventions of star inventors in the biotechnology sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 682-698.
    17. Adi Masli & Matthew G. Sherwood & Rajendra P. Srivastava, 2018. "Attributes and Structure of an Effective Board of Directors: A Theoretical Investigation," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 54(4), pages 485-523, December.
    18. Rüdiger Fahlenbrach & Angie Low & René M. Stulz, 2010. "The Dark Side of Outside Directors: Do they Quit When They are Most Needed?," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-17, Swiss Finance Institute.
    19. Palmer Michael & Sanders Thomas B., 2010. "Surprise! Most Blockbuster Jury Awards Are Ignored By The Stock Market," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 145-166, July.
    20. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2018. "Open access to research data: Strategic delay and the ambiguous welfare effects of mandatory data disclosure," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 20-34.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    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:21146. 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: https://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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.