Marginalized and Overlooked? Minoritized Groups and the Adoption of New Scientific Ideas

45 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2021 Last revised: 24 Sep 2022

See all articles by Wei Cheng

Wei Cheng

East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) - School of Business

Bruce A. Weinberg

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2021

Abstract

The rapid diffusion and use of new ideas are critical for advancing and realizing the value of innovation. This paper explores the impact of demographic characteristics of innovators and potential adopters on the adoption of important new scientific ideas through networks. Using rich, population-level data on the biomedical researchers and their networks, natural language processing, and a novel two-way fixed effects strategy, we find that new ideas introduced by female scientists are under-utilized, which can be explain by two factors. First, female innovators are not as well-connected in networks; second, even at a short network distances, researchers (especially men) are less likely to adopt women’s ideas. Ideas from underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities are also less widely used.

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Wei and Weinberg, Bruce A., Marginalized and Overlooked? Minoritized Groups and the Adoption of New Scientific Ideas (August 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w29179, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3913823

Wei Cheng (Contact Author)

East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) - School of Business ( email )

Shanghai
China

Bruce A. Weinberg

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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