Who Are the Best and Brightest Researchers in the U.S.?

Wei Huang, Harvard University

Using a unique dataset of scientific journal articles with US-based authors, I compare scientific productivity of non-Anglo-Saxon researchers with that of Anglo-Saxon ones. Estimates show that papers with first author having a non-Anglo-Saxon name have higher impact factor and more citations, which can be largely explained by organization and last author fixed effects. However, a contrary pattern exists for the last author. To explain the phenomenon, I examine and provide evidence for that relatively more talented Anglo-Saxon first authors will become last authors in US (selection effect) and Anglo-Saxon last authors have more experience in academia (cohort effect). In addition, I also find that the quality of papers written by non-Anglo-Saxon researchers has been consistently increasing since late 1980s, and this is mainly because US is attracting researchers with relatively higher ability. Finally, I find that non-Anglo-Saxon authors write more papers than Anglo-Saxon ones do in total.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Economy, Labor Force, Education and Inequality