The Effect of Cumulative Advantages on the Stability and Dynamics of Collaborations in US Physics, Chemistry and Sociology from 1980 to 2015

Seminar | January 30 | 12-1 p.m. | Goldman School of Public Policy, 355 GSPP, 3rd floor,1893 LeRoy Ave

 Oliver Wieczorek, Visiting Scholar, Sociology, Bamberg, Germany; Heiko Heiberger, Postdoctoral Researcher,Department for Micro-Sociology at University of Bremen, Germany

 Center for Studies in Higher Education

In academia, effects of “cumulative advantage” are well studied in regards to different types of resources. Those resources are money, influence, number of collaborations, number of publications and the impact of the findings. In other words: the rich and famous departments and researchers get richer and more famous over time while the poor get (relatively) poorer. This effect is visible on both individual and departmental level. Using a combination of Habitus-Field Theory and Academic Capitalism approach, we investigate the effects of cumulative advantages on departmental level and take a closer look on how elevating inequalities affect strength and durability of collaborations between institutions over time. We address those issues using collaboration data from chemistry, physics and sociology from the United States from 1980 to 2015.


Beyond the descriptive dynamic development and in order to test the complex relationships between endogenous network parameters (e.g. reciprocity, transitivity) and external covariates (e.g. funding, prestige) we use Exponential Random Graph Modeling (ERGM). ERGM is a statistical approach that allows us to handle the non-independence of network data, yet the results can be interpreted in similar ways to logistic regression. This gives us a elaborated procedure to investigate the net effects of how resources and prestige as well as network intrinsic processes frame chances to form, maintain and strengthen collaborations between academic departments in three disciplines.

 bring your own lunch

 cshe@berkeley.edu, 510-643-9212