DP5415 Top Research Productivity and its Persistence

Author(s): Stijn Kelchtermans, Reinhilde Veugelers
Publication Date: December 2005
Keyword(s): economics of science, hazard models, research productivity
JEL(s): J24, L31, O31, O32
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5415

The paper contributes to the debate on cumulative advantage effects in academic research by examining top performance in research and its persistence over time, using a panel dataset comprising the publications of biomedical and exact scientists at the KU Leuven in the period 1992-2001. We study the selection of researchers into productivity categories and analyse how they switch between these categories over time. About 25% achieves top performance at least once, while 5% is persistently top. Analysing the hazard to first and subsequent top performance shows strong support for an accumulative process. Rank, gender, hierarchical position and past performance are highly significant explanatory factors.