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Researcher's Dilemma

  • Bobtcheff, Catherine
  • Bolte, Jérôme
  • Mariotti, Thomas

We model academic competition as a game in which researchers ¯ght for priority. Researchers privately experience breakthroughs and decide how long to let their ideas mature before making them public, thereby establishing priority. In a two-researcher, symmetric environment, the resulting preemption game has a unique equilibrium. We study how the shape of the breakthrough distribution affects equilibrium maturation delays. Making researchers better at discovering new ideas or at developing them has contrasted effects on the quality of research outputs. Finally, when researchers have different innovative abilities, speed of discovery and maturation of ideas are positively correlated in equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 13-377.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision: Sep 2015
Publication status: Published in The Review of Economic Studies, 2016.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:26783
Contact details of provider: Phone: (+33) 5 61 12 86 23
Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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