Seminar  |  01/09/2018 | 10:00 AM  –  11:30 AM

Brown Bag Seminar: Informal Intellectual Collaboration with Central Colleagues

Michael Rose (University of Cape Town)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, Room 101

When preparing a research article, academics engage in informal intellectual collaboration by asking other academics for feedback, which gives rise to a social network. We study whether informal intellectual collaboration with an academic who is more central in this social network results in a research article having higher scientific impact. To identify the effect of centrality changes of the most central commenter acknowledged on an article, we exploit deaths of scholars occurring somewhere in the network. We show that citation count increases by 1 citation if the most central commenter on the average article increases her Bonacich centrality by 2%. The effect is mediated by a decay in importance of more distance connections and robust to different network definitions.
To illustrate our results, we develop a structural model in which a positive externality from intellectual collaboration implies that collaborating with a more central colleague results in larger scientific impact of the research article.

Contact person: Dr. Fabian Gaessler