Nurturing knowledge? The impact of funding and family on scientific performance

Cornelia Lawson, Aldo Geuna, Ugo Finardi

Research output: Working paper


This paper contributes to the literature on the individual and institutional factors explaining academic scientific productivity. On the basis of very detailed information for a sample of 262 academics at the University of Turin over a ten year period, we develop a robust new model to assess the impact of funding on productivity, controlling for gender and family related characteristics less frequently examined in the literature. Using a Two-Stage Least Square (2SLS) model in which we control for endogeneity of career progress and instrument national competitive funding with socio-political capital measure, we find that funding is no longer associated to higher research productivity. In the impact-quality estimation models, we find a “fatherhood bonus” and a “motherhood penalty” for having young children. In robustness checks we provide evidence of a causal effect of the latter, although it is possible that men have children once they are established on a high performance path. As in the previous literature, we find that after controlling for children, female researchers are less productive in terms of publications, but not in terms of research quality/impact.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTorino
PublisherUniversità di Torino
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2019


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