TOBB University of Economics and Technology
Söğütözü Mh., Söğütözü Cd No:43
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2015||Above a Swamp: A Theory of High-Quality Scientific Production|
with Nicola Lacetera, Lorenzo Zirulia: w21143
We elaborate a model of the incentives of scientists to perform activities of control and criticism when these activities, just like the production of novel findings, are costly, and we study the strategic interaction between these incentives. We then use the model to assess policies meant to enhance the reliability of scientific knowledge. We show that a certain fraction of low-quality science characterizes all the equilibria in the basic model. In fact, the absence of detected low-quality research can be interpreted as the lack of verification activities and thus as a potential limitation to the reliability of a field. Incentivizing incremental research and verification activities improves the expected quality of research; this effect, however, is contrasted by the incentives to free rid...