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The incentive properties of the Matthew Effect in the academic competition

  • Nicolas Carayol

This paper is concerned with the incentive properties of the Matthew Effect by which since Merton [1968] one is usually describing the various cumulative advantages that obviously affect academic competition. We introduce a model of sequential contests in which the agents that have initially produced more are the ones that will be further advantaged in that they are benefiting from intrinsically more productive research positions. We principally show that there is an optimal level of the Matthew effect and that this optimal dynamic bias is increasing with the risk of research activity while it is decreasing with the initial inequalities.

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Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2003-11.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2003-11
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  1. Carayol, Nicolas, 2003. "Objectives, agreements and matching in science-industry collaborations: reassembling the pieces of the puzzle," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 887-908, June.
  2. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
  3. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Salanie & Julie Valentin, 1999. "Early Starters versus Late Beginners," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 731-760, August.
  4. Zivney, Terry L & Bertin, William J, 1992. " Publish or Perish: What the Competition Is Really Doing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(1), pages 295-329, March.
  5. Aloysius Siow, 1991. "Are First Impressions Important in Academia?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 236-255.
  6. Waldman, Michael, 1990. "Up-or-Out Contracts: A Signaling Perspective," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 230-50, April.
  7. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:06 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  9. Meyer, Margaret A, 1992. "Biased Contests and Moral Hazard: Implications for Career Profiles," CEPR Discussion Papers 637, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Cox, Raymond A K & Chung, Kee H, 1991. "Patterns of Research Output and Author Concentration in the Economics Literature," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 740-47, November.
  11. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:07 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Paula E. Stephan & Sharon G. Levin, 1997. "The Critical Importance of Careers in Collaborative Scientific Research," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 79(1), pages 45-61.
  13. Margaret A. Meyer, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41.
  14. Hansen, W Lee & Weisbrod, Burton A & Strauss, Robert P, 1978. "Modeling the Earnings and Research Productivity of Academic Economists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 729-41, August.
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