Q. David

University of Luxembourg (LUXEMBOURG)
In this paper, we analyze the determinants of the production of academic research by higher education institutions in the U.S.. We use four measures of the production of top level academic research: number of Nobel Prizes, of Highly cited researchers, of articles published in "Nature" and "Science" and of papers indexed in the Science Citation Index.
We use robust estimators as it appears that it is important to account for the presence of outliers, in both dimensions (x and y axes), among institutions in the US and that most of the top ranked institutions must be considered as outliers. We also treat the endogeneity issue and test for the possible selection bias.
We find that the income, the share of this income devoted to expenses for research and the number of professors very significantly increase the ability of an institution to produce top level academic research. More surprisingly, we show that the relationship between the average quality (salary) of professors and the production of research is U-shaped with a significant share of institutions located on the decreasing part of the curve. This suggests that institutions should either offer high wages or (relatively) low ones. Offering “standard” wages (the average) would, according to our findings, reduce the production of top level academic research.