Theory Seminar: How Research Goes Astray: Paths and Equilibria
The School of Economics would like to invite you to a theory seminar presented by Dick Startz (USCSB).
Some research disciplines persist for long periods despite contributing very little to our understanding of the world. In the presence of imperfect information about the quality of a given item of research, multiple equilibria can exist in which path dependence leads to disciplines going astray by investing in low value lines of research. An important determinant of the resource flow to a disciplines is the extent to which research results are subject to evidentiary testing for their contribution to knowledge. When the allocation of resources responds strongly to research productivity, disciplines which focus on an agenda of low productivity may gradually disappear. Survivorship bias can lead to a distribution across disciplines in which weak disciplines have more talented researchers than do stronger disciplines.