December 7th, Olga BERNARD's PhD Defense

December 07, 2020 Research

Olga BERNARD will defend her thesis on Monday, 7 December 2020 at 9:30 AM by video confere on « Essays in Economics of Science».

Zoom link:

Supervisor: Catherine Bobtcheff
Co-supervisor: Thomas Mariotti

Memberships are:


In the first chapter of the thesis, I study how incentives for refutation affect publication quality. An insight from this chapter is that the impact of refutation rewards on publication quality depends on the difference of speed between pioneer research and refutation activity. If the former is higher than the latter, publication quality decreases with refutation rewards. Otherwise, the opposite result holds. Compared to this framework, the publication quality is always lower when the publication quality is uncertain. This last result suggests that transparency improves research quality.

In the two remaining chapters of the thesis, I examine the tradeoff of scientists, who have access to citizen science (CS) or traditional science (TS) to undertake their research. By using CS, the scientists involve the citizens' help, which is costly and makes the research process faster. However, the quality of the research outcomes is lower. In the second chapter, I find that a monopolist scientist chooses CS if a scientific project is socially desirable. Otherwise, she chooses TS. If she faces a rival, competition occurs if both scientists choose CS. An interesting result arises if scientific projects are moderately socially desirable: scientists randomly mix between CS and TS. The policy implications depends on the lottery's outcome. If they make different choices, there is no efficiency loss, which is in favor of no government intervention. If they both choose TS, the research speed is slowed down compared to the monopolist scientist case. Consequently, the government should encourage the CS use with subsidies.

In the third chapter, scientists fight for priority to publish a pioneer idea. By contrast with the second chapter, competition occurs when they both choose TS. CS is an option that they can exert at the idea's discovery time. An insight from the analysis is that the scientists' choice between CS and TS does not depend on the time at which they discover the idea. If CS is low-cost, they both choose CS. Otherwise, they both choose TS. Compared to a research environment where the CS choice does not exist, these results have two implications. First, scientists have no time to adapt to the existence of the CS choice. Second, the possibility to use CS increases preemption fear. In terms of policy implications, if the government aims at increasing the publication speed, then he should encourage the CS use.