Science after Communism: Why does Westernization Correlate with Productivity?

59 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2021 Last revised: 16 Aug 2022

See all articles by Ali Sina Önder

Ali Sina Önder

University of Portsmouth

Vincent Lariviere

University of Montreal

Donata Schilling

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Naomi Moy

Queensland University of Technology

Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology; CREMA; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Ho Fai Chan

Queensland University of Technology

Date Written: July 1, 2022

Abstract

How do institutional structures affect the productivity in innovative sectors? Using German re-unification as a natural experiment, we analyze the effect of institutional change in the East German academic system on the scientific productivity of East German scientists in the research fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). We find a strong correlation between restructuring of the East German academic system and the productivity of East German scientists. To identify the causal effects that yield this correlation, we investigate to what extent the observed productivity is brought about by efficiency gains and to what extent by reallocation. We analyze difference-in-differences in productivity, collaboration, field switching behavior, and attrition of the treatment and non-treatment groups of East German scientists. We find reallocation between fields or attrition to be the dominant feature that underlies East German scientists' productivity differences when institutional effects are isolated. Our findings have implications for the effects of increased competition in today's academic environment.

Keywords: Productivity; Peer Effects; Institutions; Competition; Reallocation; East Germany

JEL Classification: D24, I23, J24, O32, O33

Suggested Citation

Önder, Ali Sina and Lariviere, Vincent and Schilling, Donata and Moy, Naomi and Torgler, Benno and Chan, Ho Fai, Science after Communism: Why does Westernization Correlate with Productivity? (July 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3961712 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3961712

Ali Sina Önder (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth ( email )

Portsmouth, PO1 3DE
United Kingdom

Vincent Lariviere

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

Donata Schilling

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Naomi Moy

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

CREMA

Gellertstrasse 18
Basel
Zurich, CH 8006
Switzerland

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Ho Fai Chan

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

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