Does Knowledge Accumulation Increase the Returns to Collaboration?

35 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2013 Last revised: 7 Oct 2014

See all articles by Ajay Agrawal

Ajay Agrawal

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Avi Goldfarb

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Florenta Teodoridis

University of Toronto

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2013

Abstract

We conduct the first empirical test of the knowledge burden hypothesis, one of several theories advanced to explain increasing team sizes in science. For identification, we exploit the collapse of the USSR as an exogenous shock to the knowledge frontier causing a sudden release of previously hidden research. We report evidence that team size increased disproportionately in Soviet-rich relative to -poor subfields of theoretical mathematics after 1990. Furthermore, consistent with the hypothesized mechanism, scholars in Soviet-rich subfields disproportionately increased citations to Soviet prior art and became increasingly specialized.

Suggested Citation

Agrawal, Ajay and Goldfarb, Avi and Teodoridis, Florenta, Does Knowledge Accumulation Increase the Returns to Collaboration? (December 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19694. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2366008

Ajay Agrawal (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Avi Goldfarb

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
416-946-8604 (Phone)
416-978-5433 (Fax)

Florenta Teodoridis

University of Toronto ( email )

No Address Available

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