Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Social Influence Given (Partially) Deliberate Matching: Career Imprints in the Creation of Academic Entrepreneurs

47 Pages Posted: 28 May 2009  

Pierre Azoulay

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christopher Liu

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Toby Stuart

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Date Written: May 27, 2009

Abstract

Actors often match with associates on a small set of dimensions that matter most for the particular relationship at hand. In so doing, they are exposed to unanticipated social influences because counterparts have more interests, attitudes, and preferences than would-be associates considered when they first chose to pair. This implies that some apparent social influences (those tied to the rationales for forming the relationship) are endogenous to the matching process, while others (those that are incidental to the formation of the relationship) may be conditionally exogenous, thus enabling causal estimation of peer effects. We illustrate this idea in a new data set tracking the training and professional activities of academic biomedical scientists. In qualitative and quantitative analyzes, we show that scientists match to their postdoctoral mentors based on two dominant factors, geography and scientific focus. They then adopt their advisers' orientations toward commercial science as evidenced by the transmission of patenting behavior, but they do not match on this dimension. We demonstrate this in two-stage models that adjust for the endogeneity of the matching process, using a modification of propensity score estimation and a sample selection correction with valid exclusion restrictions. Furthermore, we draw on qualitative accounts of the matching process recorded in oral histories of the career choices of the scientists in our data. All three methods - qualitative description, propensity score estimators, and those that tackle selection on unobservable factors - are potential approaches to establishing evidence of social influence in partially endogenous networks, and they may be especially persuasive in combination.

Suggested Citation

Azoulay, Pierre and Liu, Christopher and Stuart, Toby, Social Influence Given (Partially) Deliberate Matching: Career Imprints in the Creation of Academic Entrepreneurs (May 27, 2009). Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Working Paper No. 09-136. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1410816 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1410816

Pierre Azoulay

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

HOME PAGE: http://scripts.mit.edu/~pazoulay/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Christopher Liu

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

Toby E. Stuart (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
304
Rank
82,400
Abstract Views
1,615