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Prizes and Productivity: How Winning the Fields Medal Affects Scientific Output

Prizes and Productivity: How Winning the Fields Medal Affects Scientific Output abstract: Knowledge generation is key to economic growth, and scientific prizes are designed to encourage it. But how does winning a prestigious prize affect future output? We compare the productivity of Fields Medal recipients (winners of the top mathematics prize) to that of similarly brilliant contenders. The two groups have similar publication rates until the award year, after which the winners’ productivity declines. The medalists begin to “play the field,” studying unfamiliar topics at the expense of writing papers. It appears that tournaments can have large postprize effects on the effort allocation of knowledge producers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Human Resources University of Wisconsin Press

Prizes and Productivity: How Winning the Fields Medal Affects Scientific Output

Journal of Human Resources , Volume 50 (3) – Aug 9, 2015

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
©by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
ISSN
1548-8004
Publisher site
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Abstract

abstract: Knowledge generation is key to economic growth, and scientific prizes are designed to encourage it. But how does winning a prestigious prize affect future output? We compare the productivity of Fields Medal recipients (winners of the top mathematics prize) to that of similarly brilliant contenders. The two groups have similar publication rates until the award year, after which the winners’ productivity declines. The medalists begin to “play the field,” studying unfamiliar topics at the expense of writing papers. It appears that tournaments can have large postprize effects on the effort allocation of knowledge producers.

Journal

Journal of Human ResourcesUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Aug 9, 2015

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