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Effects of social interactions on scientists' productivity

Effects of social interactions on scientists' productivity Purpose – Recent economic research has focused on the economic effects of the social environment. In the economic literature, important phenomena are considered, at least in part, as results of the individual's social environment. There is a similar revival of interest among economists who analyse the world of science and basic research. In this case as well, the environment plays a key role in the agent's behaviour. This paper aims at an empirical analysis of the influence of social interactions on scientists' productivity. Design/methodology/approach – In the econometric analysis the authors investigate the aggregate importance of social interactions in science through the analysis of data on publications in four scientific fields of seven advanced countries. The paper builds a dynamic autoregressive model which provides long‐run multipliers. The model is estimated with a panel fixed effects methodology. Findings – Social interactions among researchers have positive effects on a scientist's productivity, and there is a U‐shaped relation between the size of a scientific network and individual productivity. This result is interpreted as providing evidence for threshold externalities and increasing returns to scale. Research limitations/implications – Other better indicators of social interactions in science should be found and used in estimates. The set of countries and fields should be enlarged. Originality/value – The paper represents the first econometric investigation of the issue at country level, and provides interesting results which are new for the economic literature. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Manpower Emerald Publishing

Effects of social interactions on scientists' productivity

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-7720
DOI
10.1108/01437720810878914
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Recent economic research has focused on the economic effects of the social environment. In the economic literature, important phenomena are considered, at least in part, as results of the individual's social environment. There is a similar revival of interest among economists who analyse the world of science and basic research. In this case as well, the environment plays a key role in the agent's behaviour. This paper aims at an empirical analysis of the influence of social interactions on scientists' productivity. Design/methodology/approach – In the econometric analysis the authors investigate the aggregate importance of social interactions in science through the analysis of data on publications in four scientific fields of seven advanced countries. The paper builds a dynamic autoregressive model which provides long‐run multipliers. The model is estimated with a panel fixed effects methodology. Findings – Social interactions among researchers have positive effects on a scientist's productivity, and there is a U‐shaped relation between the size of a scientific network and individual productivity. This result is interpreted as providing evidence for threshold externalities and increasing returns to scale. Research limitations/implications – Other better indicators of social interactions in science should be found and used in estimates. The set of countries and fields should be enlarged. Originality/value – The paper represents the first econometric investigation of the issue at country level, and provides interesting results which are new for the economic literature.

Journal

International Journal of ManpowerEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 13, 2008

Keywords: Employee productivity; Social dynamics; Behaviour; Scientists; Social interaction

References