Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics
This paper studies life cycle creativity among Nobel laureate economists. We identify two distinct life cycles of scholarly creativity. Experimental innovators work inductively, accumulating knowledge from experience. Conceptual innovators work deductively, applying abstract principles. We find that conceptual innovators do their most important work earlier in their careers than experimental laureates. For instance, our estimates imply that the probability that the most conceptual laureate publishes his single best work peaks at age 25 compared to the mid-50s for the most experimental laureate. Thus while experience benefits experimental innovators, newness to a field benefits conceptual innovators.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Bruce A. Weinberg & David W. Galenson, 2019. "Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics," De Economist, Springer, vol. 167(3), pages 221-239, September. citation courtesy of