A New Explanation for Scholarly Productivity

19 March 2008 at 9:47 am 5 comments

| 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?

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Institutions, Methods/Methodology/Theory of Science.

Economics and the Rule of Law Numbers Don’t Lie — Or Do They?

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. stevphel  |  19 March 2008 at 10:35 am

    Ah, but what about vodka? The finer the spirit, the finer the ideas perhaps? That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

  • 2. Rafe Champion  |  19 March 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Thanx for the rats link, that explains why I can’t recall when I last had a beer. Maybe the last time I had a citation.

  • 3. Rafe Champion  |  19 March 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Not all Australians drink like Barry Mackenzie. http://www.the-rathouse.com/KPmeetsBM.html

    Forthcoming “Barry Mackenzie meets Ludwig Mises”.

    On the topic of Australians and Mises, did you know there was an Australian involved in the English translation of Mises “On Socialism”?


  • 4. Joe Mahoney  |  20 March 2008 at 8:57 am

    Although only anecdotal, my friend, Bud, consumed a lot of beer and everyone agreed that it made Bud wiser ;-)

  • 5. Donald A. Coffin  |  20 March 2008 at 11:26 am

    A colleague of mine commented that he had no problem…he drinks Crown Royal.

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