Matthew: Effect or Fable?

53 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2012 Last revised: 16 Oct 2014

See all articles by Pierre Azoulay

Pierre Azoulay

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

Toby Stuart

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

Yanbo Wang

National University of Singapore (NUS) - NUS Business School

Date Written: December 2012

Abstract

In a market context, a status effect occurs when actors are accorded differential recognition for their efforts depending on their location in a status ordering, holding constant the quality of these efforts. In practice, because it is very difficult to measure quality, this ceteris paribus proviso often precludes convincing empirical assessments of the magnitude of status effects. We address this problem by examining the impact of a major status-conferring prize that shifts actors' positions in a prestige ordering. Specifically, using a precisely constructed matched sample, we estimate the effect of a scientist becoming a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator (HHMI) on citations to articles the scientist published before the prize was awarded. We do find evidence of a post-appointment citation boost, but the effect is small and limited to a short window of time. Consistent with theories of status, however, the effect of the prize is significantly larger when there is uncertainty about article quality, and when prize-winners are of (relatively) low status at the time of election to HHMI.

Suggested Citation

Azoulay, Pierre and Stuart, Toby E. and Wang, Yanbo, Matthew: Effect or Fable? (December 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18625, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189763

Pierre Azoulay (Contact Author)

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

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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Toby E. Stuart

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

Yanbo Wang

National University of Singapore (NUS) - NUS Business School ( email )

Mochtar Riady Building #6-40
15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

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