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Behaviour in Networks of Collaborators: Theory and Evidence from the English Judiciary

  • Clare Leaver
  • Jordi Blances i Vidal
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    This paper uses data on judicial citations to explore whether the diffusion and/or application of knowledge within an organisation is affected by worker connectivity. Developing a simple model of discretionary citations, we distinguish between two hypotheses: knowledge diffusion whereby connected judges are more likely to be aware of each others` cases than unconnected judges, and socialisation whereby judges are more likely to be positively disposed to judges to whom they are more connected. Our empirical strategy exploits three important institutional features: (a) the random allocation of judges to case committees in the English Court of Appeal, (b) the existence of both positive and neutral citations and (c) the fact that connections occur over time. We are able to reject the knowledge diffusion hypothesis in its simplest form. We are unable to reject the socialisation hypothesis, and find strong evidence to support it. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for other knowledge-based organisations.

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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper354.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 354.

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    Date of creation: 01 Sep 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:354
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
    Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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    1. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Careerist Judges," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 275-297, Summer.
    2. Gomes-Casseres, Benjamin & Hagedoorn, John & Jaffe, Adam B., 2006. "Do alliances promote knowledge flows?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 5-33, April.
    3. Kramarz, Francis & Thesmar, David, 2006. "Social Networks in the Boardroom," CEPR Discussion Papers 5496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Working Papers 784, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    5. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
    6. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence from Personnel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Jasjit Singh, 2005. "Collaborative Networks as Determinants of Knowledge Diffusion Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(5), pages 756-770, May.
    8. Landes, William M & Lessig, Lawrence & Solimine, Michael E, 1998. "Judicial Influence: A Citation Analysis of Federal Courts of Appeals Judges," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 271-332, June.
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