Norms and team formation: Evidence from research partnerships

Daniel Garcia, Joshua Sherman

Scientific, artistic, and professional work is increasingly performed in groups. In
this study, we seek to understand the extent to which norms influence the composition of such groups. In particular, we analyze the effect of the alphabetical norm in academic citations on the composition of research teams in economics. First, we present a model of endogenous team formation given the alphabetical norm and analyze the effect of the norm on the desirability of any two individuals to conduct a joint project. We then examine the last names of co-authors from nearly 100 academic journals and find a significant difference between the matching behavior of authors who obey the alphabetical norm relative to authors who violate the norm. We interpret this finding as evidence that the alphabetical norm results in distortion of the composition of research teams.

Department of Economics
No. of pages
Publication date
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
502047 Economic theory
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