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What's in a (Missing) Name? Status and Signaling in Open Standards Development

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Abstract

How much are we influenced by an author's identity? If identity matters, is it because we have a ``taste for status" or because it offers a useful shortcut --- a signal that is correlated with the likely importance of their ideas? This paper presents evidence from a natural experiment that took place at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) --- a community of engineers and computer scientists who develop the protocols used to run the Internet. The results suggest that IETF participants use authors' identity as a signal or filter, paying more attention to proposals from high-status authors, and this has a surprisingly large impact on publication outcomes. There is little evidence of a “taste" for status.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Simcoe & David Waguespack & Lee Fleming, 2008. "What's in a (Missing) Name? Status and Signaling in Open Standards Development," Working Papers 08-31, NET Institute, revised Oct 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0831
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    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Simcoe_Waguespack_Fleming_08-31.pdf
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    1. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
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    4. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    5. Blank, Rebecca M, 1991. "The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing: Experimental Evidence from The American Economic Review," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1041-1067, December.
    6. Scott Smart & Joel Waldfogel, 1996. "A Citation-Based Test for Discrimination at Economics and Finance Journals," NBER Working Papers 5460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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