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ERIC Number: ED503783
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 0
Abstractor: As Provided
Superstar Extinction. NBER Working Paper No. 14577
Azoulay, Pierre; Zivin, Joshua S. Graff; Wang, Jialan
National Bureau of Economic Research
We estimate the magnitude of spillovers generated by 161 academic "superstars" onto their collaborators' research output. These life scientists died while still being actively engaged in science, thus providing an exogenous source of variation in the structure of their collaborators' coauthorship networks. Following the death of a superstar, we find that collaborators experience, on average, a lasting 5 to 10% decline in their quality-adjusted publication rates. By exploring interactions of the treatment effect with a wide range of star, coauthor and star/coauthor dyad characteristics, we seek to adjudicate between plausible mechanisms that might explain this finding. Taken together, our results suggest that spillovers are circumscribed in ideas space, but not in physical or social space. Superstar extinction reveals the boundaries of the scientific field to which the star contributes -- the "invisible college."
National Bureau of Economic Research. 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A