Harvard University

The Novelty Paradox & Bias for Normal Science: Evidence from Randomized Medical Grant Proposal Evaluations

This experiment in the context of medical research grants indicates a discount of novelty in research proposals, which may be due to evaluators internalising the average effects of novelty for potential concerns about the lower success rates. However, this censoring of novel projects means that experiments never get a chance to be run and thus the benefits of generating greater diversity of experiments are curtailed. This is of concern to policy makers and society because research funds are being allocated towards more incremental research as compared to high variability and potentially breakthrough efforts.

High Incentives, Sorting on Skills -- Or just a Taste for Competition? Field Experimental Evidence from an Algorithm Design Contest

Workers who sort into institutional settings they prefer may work twice (or many more times) as hard in these preferred settings. This productivity effect is especially important in institutional settings where a taste for competition is strongest.

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