Lorenzo Zirulia

University of Bologna
Department of Economics
Strada Maggiore, 45
Bologna, Italy

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2015Above a Swamp: A Theory of High-Quality Scientific Production
with Bralind Kiri, Nicola Lacetera: 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...
May 2011Individual Preferences, Organization, and Competition in a Model of R&D Incentive Provision
with Nicola Lacetera: w17031
Understanding the organization of R&D activities requires the simultaneous consideration of scientific workers' talent and tastes, companies' organizational choices, and the characteristics of the relevant industry. We develop a model of the provision of incentives to corporate scientists, in an environment where (1) scientists engage in multiple activities when performing research; (2) knowledge is not perfectly appropriable; (3) scientists are responsive to both monetary and non-monetary incentives; and (4) firms compete on the product market. We show that both the degree of knowledge spillovers and of market competition affect the incentives given to scientists, and these effects interact. First, high knowledge spillovers lead firms to soften incentives when product market competition i...

Published: Lacetera, Nicola & Zirulia, Lorenzo, 2012. "Individual preferences, organization, and competition in a model of R&D incentive provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 550-570. citation courtesy of

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us