COVID-19 and the Illusion of Productivity
33 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2022
Date Written: April 18, 2022
Using all papers posted on SSRN from July 2016 to August 2021 by authors from Top 1,000 business schools and economics departments, we investigate how COVID-19 affects research productivity, measured as the number of posted papers. We find that productivity declines, except for male and senior authors associated with Top 50 departments. COVID-19, therefore, appears to have further increased inequality between universities and authors. However, even the Top 50 productivity increase appears superficial, as it was driven by shorter papers, revisions, and more co-authors. We also document a tone change in abstracts. This change is, however, small and benign, unlikely to affect productivity or research integrity in the long term.
Keywords: COVID-19, productivity, inequality, behavioral
JEL Classification: A11, A14, J24, J16, J78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation