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Recognition and longevity: an examination of award timing and lifespan in Nobel laureates

Ho Fai Chan (), Frank Mixon, Jayanta Sarkar and Benno Torgler
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Jayanta Sarkar: Queensland University of Technology
Benno Torgler: Queensland University of Technology

Scientometrics, 2022, vol. 127, issue 6, No 33, 3629-3659

Abstract: Abstract Using data for 387 Nobel Prize winners in physics, chemistry, or physiology/medicine from 1901 to 2000, this study focuses on the relation between the timing of prestigious awards and human longevity. In particular, it uses a linear regression model to examine how a winner’s longevity is affected by (1) the age at which the prestigious award is won, (2) the total number of prestigious awards collected, and (3) the delay between the Nobel Prize work and recognition. To alleviate estimation issues stemming from survival selection, we conduct our analyses using subsamples of surviving individuals and controlling for age-specific life expectancy. Our results suggest that receiving the Nobel Prize at a younger age is related to a longer expected lifespan (e.g., obtaining the Nobel Prize 10 years earlier is associated with an additional 1 year of lifespan compared to the average population life expectancy). The results also point to a strong negative association between the age of receiving major scientific awards and relative life expectancy, which further indicates the benefit of early recognition. Yet, we did not find evidence suggesting that the number of prestigious awards received at an earlier age correlated with longevity. Nor are we able to observe that the duration between Nobel Prize work and the award reception (waiting time for the Nobel Prize recognition) is associated with changes in longevity.

Keywords: Nobel prize; Longevity; Lifespan; Awards; Recognition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11192-022-04379-6

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