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Does gender structure influence R&D efficiency? A regional perspective

Mingting Kou, Yi Zhang, Yu Zhang (), Kaihua Chen, Jiancheng Guan and Senmao Xia
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Mingting Kou: University of Sciences and Technology Beijing
Yi Zhang: Guangdong Ocean University
Yu Zhang: Chinese Academy of Sciences
Kaihua Chen: Chinese Academy of Sciences
Jiancheng Guan: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Senmao Xia: Coventry University

Scientometrics, 2020, vol. 122, issue 1, No 22, 477-501

Abstract: Abstract The gender structure in research and development (R&D) activities has received more and more attention in terms of its increasing importance in R&D management, but it is still not clear what the R&D efficiency discrepancy between female and male personnel is in the science and technology (S&T) field and whether the gender structure affects the R&D efficiency. Based on the region-level panel dataset of China’s research institutes, this study uses four types of R&D outputs (papers, books, patents and standards) together and individually to measure R&D efficiency score to reveal this topic. When four types of R&D outputs are jointly considered, this paper applies the multi-output stochastic frontier analysis and finds that in general the higher proportion of male R&D personnel produces the higher R&D efficiency. Nevertheless, in terms of S&T papers or S&T books as a single R&D output, we find that the higher proportion of female R&D personnel leads to the higher R&D efficiency. On the contrary, the R&D efficiency is lower with the higher proportion of female R&D personnel when the single R&D output is measured by invention patent applications or national/industrial standards, respectively. Our findings suggest that the female R&D personnel are more effective in conducting scientific research activities, while their counterparts are more effective in doing technology development activities.

Keywords: R&D efficiency; Gender structure; Gender gap; China’s research institutes; Region-level analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11192-019-03282-x

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