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Is there a first mover advantage in science? Pioneering behavior and scientific production in nanotechnology

Mareva Sabatier () and Barthélemy Chollet

Research Policy, 2017, vol. 46, issue 2, 522-533

Abstract: This article investigates whether pioneers in a research field have a sustainable first mover advantage in publications. Combining bibliometric (publications, citations, co-authorship) with survey data on 495 nanotechnology researchers, we analyzed career attributes, professional context and production overtime. Our econometric estimates highlight two main results. First, pioneering behavior is not exogenous: it is more probable among scientists who are already established in their “mother-discipline” (before entering nanotechnology), have a strong collaboration network, and have easy access to field-specific resources. Second, even after controlling for the endogeneity of entry timing, we find a strong first mover advantage: pioneers in the emerging field exhibit significantly higher scientific production in that field in the long run.

Keywords: First mover advantage; Scientific production; Pioneering behavior; Nanotechnology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L31 C31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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