The Collaboration Credit Premium and the Case of Detrimental Collaborations: Evidence from Economics

38 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2019

See all articles by Keyvan Vakili

Keyvan Vakili

London Business School

Florenta Teodoridis

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Michaël Bikard

INSEAD

Date Written: July 18, 2019

Abstract

We explore the relationship between collaboration and credit allocation in creative work. A large literature has examined how collaborators split credit for joint work, but this literature has generally viewed credit allocation among collaborators as a zero-sum game. In contrast, we posit that under specific conditions, one should expect credit for joint work to be split in a way that sums up to more than 100% — a phenomenon which we refer to as the “collaboration credit premium.” Under these conditions, we argue that individuals might have an incentive to collaborate even when collaboration decreases the quality of output. We test these propositions by examining the collaboration strategies of economists in academia. To address endogeneity issues, we take advantage of the norm of alphabetical name ordering on scientific articles published in economics journals. This norm means that economists whose family name begins with a letter from the beginning of the alphabet receive systematically more credit for collaborative work than economists whose family name begins with a letter from the end of the alphabet. Using this systematic difference in credit allocation as an instrument, we show that the collaboration credit premium can lead to the formation of collaborations that have a detrimental effect on the quality of output. Overall, our results emphasize that the spread of collaboration in creative work raises major challenges with the allocation of credit.

Keywords: Collaboration, Credit Allocation, Creativity, Credit Premium, Innovation

Suggested Citation

Vakili, Keyvan and Teodoridis, Florenta and Bikard, Michaël A., The Collaboration Credit Premium and the Case of Detrimental Collaborations: Evidence from Economics (July 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3438932 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3438932

Keyvan Vakili (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Florenta Teodoridis

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

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Michaël A. Bikard

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
Fontainebleau, 77300
France

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