Which Peers Matter? The Relative Impacts of Collaborators, Colleagues, and Competitors
Many economists believe knowledge production generates positive spillovers among knowledge producers. The available evidence, however, is mixed. We argue that spillovers can exist along three dimensions (idea, geographic, and collaboration space). To isolate the key channel through which knowledge spills over, we use a unique data set to examine the impact of a large post-1992 exodus of Soviet mathematicians on the output of the non-émigrés. Although the data reveal strong competitive effects in idea space, there is evidence of knowledge spillovers in collaboration space, when high-quality researchers directly engage with other researchers in the joint production of new knowledge.
We are grateful to Patrick Ion, Graeme Fairweather, Norm Richert, and Erol Ozil from the American Mathematical Society for extensive collaboration and support in preparing the data. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2015. "Which Peers Matter? The Relative Impacts of Collaborators, Colleagues, and Competitors," Review of Economics and Statistics, vol 97(5), pages 1104-1117. citation courtesy of