Does Knowledge Accumulation Increase the Returns to Collaboration?

34 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2014  

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 Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 1, 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.

JEL Classification: J24, L23, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

Agrawal, Ajay and Goldfarb, Avi and Teodoridis, Florenta, Does Knowledge Accumulation Increase the Returns to Collaboration? (December 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2541382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2541382

Ajay Agrawal

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 (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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