A New Explanation for Scholarly Productivity
| Peter Klein |
I always suspected it: scholarly productivity is inversely related to — beer. That’s the finding of a new study of Czech ornithologists, as summarized in yesterday’s N.Y. Times (thanks to Brian McCann for the heads-up). The more beer a scientist drinks, the less likely he is to publish or to have his work cited. Apparently this is a cross-sectional result, without fixed effects or instrumental variables, so there is little information on causality. Perhaps unsuccessful Czech scientists tend to drown their sorrows at the local pub (no doubt drinking their copycat Budvar). Personally, I am more likely to grab a brew to celebrate the occasional citation, so I’d expect the correlation (under reverse causality) to run the other way. And what about these rats?