Double Disclosures and the Negotiation of Scientific Credit in Research Teams

Author: Francesco Lissoni (GREThA – Université de Bordeaux)

We jointly examine the issues of research team formation and of the allocation of scientific credit to individual team members in a dynamic setting, with reference to “double disclosure” instances (the same research result is both published and patented). Senior (mostly male) and junior (including female) scientists decide whether to collaborate over an extended time horizon and bargain over the allocation of attribution rights (authorship and inventorship). Seniors make take-it-or-leave-offers, which juniors can either accept or sanction by exiting the team. Sustainable equilibria are found in which juniors trade inventorship for authorship, and opt to stay in the team. We test our theoretical predictions against an original dataset of “patent-publication pairs” produced by academics in seven European countries from 1997 to 2007. Younger and female authors are found to be more likely than older and male ones not to appear on patents, irrespective of the country and the technological field. First authors are more likely than middle authors to appear on patents, but when excluded they are less likely to quit the team, which we interpret as a sign of compliance with a successful negotiation outcome over attribution rights.

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