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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics

This looks interesting:

Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics, by Bruce A. Weinberg and David W. Galenson, NBER WP 11799, November 2005: Abstract This paper studies life cycle creativity among Nobel laureate economists using citation data. We identify two distinct life cycles of scholarly creativity. Experimental innovators work inductively, accumulating knowledge from experience. Conceptual innovators work deductively, applying abstract principles. We find that conceptual innovators do their most important work earlier in their careers than experimental laureates. For instance, 75% of the most extreme conceptual laureates published their single best work in the first 10 years of their career, while none of the experimental laureates did. Thus while experience benefits experimental innovators, newness to a field benefits conceptual innovators. [Free version on author web page.]

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