G. Feichtinger, D. Grass, P.M. Kort, A. Seidl:
"On the Matthew effect in research careers: Abnormality on the boundary";
Research Reports (Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Statistics and Mathematical Methods in Economics, Operations Research and Control Systems),
The observation that a socioeconomic agent with a high reputation gets a disproportionately higherrecognition for the same work than an agent with lower reputation is typical in career development andwealth. This phenomenon, which is known as Matthew effect in the literature, leads to an increasinginequality over time. The present paper employs an optimal control model to study the implicationsof the Matthew effect on the optimal efforts of a scientist into reputation.The solution of the model exhibits, for sufficiently low effort costs, a new type of unstable equilib-rium at which effort is at its upper bound. This equilibrium, which we denote as Stalling Equilibrium,serves as a threshold level separating success and failure in academia. In addition we show that atthe Stalling Equilibrium the solution can be abnormal. We provide a clear economic interpretationfor this solution characteristic.
optimal control, history-dependent solution, abnormal solution, career planning, Matthew effect
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