Marginalized and Overlooked? Minoritized Groups and the Adoption of New Scientific Ideas
The rapid diffusion and use of new ideas are critical for advancing and realizing the value of innovation. This paper explores the impact of demographic characteristics of innovators and potential adopters on the adoption of important new scientific ideas through networks. Using rich, population-level data on the biomedical researchers and their networks, natural language processing, and a novel two-way fixed effects strategy, we find that new ideas introduced by female scientists are under-utilized, which can be explain by two factors. First, female innovators are not as well-connected in networks; second, even at a short network distances, researchers (especially men) are less likely to adopt women’s ideas. Ideas from underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities are also less widely used.
We thank seminar participants at Ohio State University. We gratefully acknowledge support from NIA, OBSSR, and NSF SciSIP through P01 AG039347; R01 GM140281, UL1 TR002733, NSF EHR DGE 1348691, 1535399, 1760544, 2100234. Weinberg was supported on P01 AG039347 by the NBER directly and on a subaward from NBER to Ohio State. Cheng was supported by National Science Foundation of China (71803047) and Shanghai Pujiang Program (2019PJC022). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.