Fellows Webinar: The global network of air links and scientific collaboration – a quasi-experimental analysis

The fellow team will discuss the impact of the introduction and availability of long-distance flights on international scientific collaboration.

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Event Details

When: October 21, 3 p.m. ET
Where: Online
Livestream link: Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About the research: Researchers plan to determine the impact of the introduction and availability of long-distance flights on international scientific collaboration. The team will measure collaboration through co-authorship and co-affiliation.

They will also geocode publication affiliations from WoS and MAG from 1998 through 2017. This quasi-experimental research will apply state-of-the-art causal modeling techniques and explore how data-driven causality can enhance science of science policy relevance.

Abstract: We study the impact of long-haul flights availability/introduction on international scientific collaboration. The main advantage of the project is the use of a quasi-experimental approach. Specifically, we employ a discontinuity in the global air links network that results from regulatory requirements, as identified by Campante & Yanagizawa-Drott (2017). Their analysis shows that cities that are just under 6,000 miles apart are distinctly more likely to have direct air links, compared with cities slightly above that threshold. This discontinuity—arguably exogenous—allowed them to use a quasi-experimental framework to analyze the causal relationship between air flights and economic development (using night lights satellite data) and business links (international firm ownership data). Our analysis uses a similar analytical framework to international scientific collaboration measured by co-authorships, co-affiliations, and citations. For this purpose, we use geocoded affiliations of publications from Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) and Web of Science (WOS), as well as flight data available from International Civil Aviation Organization. Our analysis covers the period from 1989 to 2017.

Adam Ploszaj is an assistant professor at the Centre for European Regional and Local Studies EUROREG, University of Warsaw. He specializes in interdisciplinary studies of regional and local development, science of science, R&D policy, and policy evaluation. Adam holds a Ph.D. in Economics and a MA in Regional Development. Recently he co-authored a monograph “The Geography of Scientific Collaboration” published by Routledge (2019). He frequently advises national and international institutions―including the European Commission, European Parliament, World Bank, national and regional governments, and other governmental organizations―on regional development, research policy, and European Union funds design, implementation, and evaluation. In 2016, Adam was a Visiting Scholar at Indiana University Bloomington – Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science (CNS). He was a member of the Young Scientists Council at the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2015-2017 term). In 2016, he was elected to the Senate of the University of Warsaw (2016-2020 term). From 2020, Adam leads the newly established Science Studies Laboratory at the University of Warsaw.

Read more about the researchers here.