Danielle Li
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Publications 12
#1Pierre Azoulay (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)H-Index: 18
#2Joshua Graff Zivin (UCSD: University of California, San Diego)H-Index: 32
Last.Bhaven N. Sampat (Columbia University)H-Index: 29
view all 4 authors...
We quantify the impact of scientific grant funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on patenting by pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. Our article makes two contributions. First, we use newly constructed bibliometric data to develop a method for flexibly linking specific grant expenditures to private-sector innovations. Second, we take advantage of idiosyncratic rigidities in the rules governing NIH peer review to generate exogenous variation in funding across research areas. Our ...
14 CitationsSource
This paper provides evidence that risk aversion leads pharmaceutical firms to underinvest in radical innovation. We define a drug candidate as novel if it is molecularly distinct from prior candidates. Using our measure, we show that firms face a risk-reward tradeoff when investing in novel drugs: while novel drug candidates are less likely to be approved by the FDA, they are based on patents with higher indicators of value. We show that–counter to the predictions of frictionless models–firms re...
2 CitationsSource
#1Mitchell Hoffman (NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research)H-Index: 7
#2Lisa B. Kahn (NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research)H-Index: 9
Last.Danielle Li (NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research)H-Index: 7
view all 3 authors...
Job testing technologies enable firms to rely less on human judgement when making hiring decisions. Placing more weight on test scores may improve hiring decisions by reducing the influence of human bias or mistakes but may also lead firms to forgo the potentially valuable private information of their managers. We study the introduction of job testing across 15 firms employing low-skilled service sector workers. When faced with similar applicant pools, we find that managers who appear to hire ag...
17 CitationsSource
#1Alan BensonH-Index: 5
#2Danielle LiH-Index: 7
Last.Kelly ShueH-Index: 10
view all 3 authors...
The best worker is not always the best candidate for manager. In these cases, do firms promote the best potential manager or the best worker in her current job? Using microdata on the performance of sales workers at 214 firms, we find evidence consistent with the “Peter Principle,” which predicts that firms prioritize current job performance in promotion decisions at the expense of other observable characteristics that better predict managerial performance. We estimate that the costs of promotin...
1 Citations
#1Joshua Lev KriegerH-Index: 2
#2Danielle LiH-Index: 7
Last.Dimitris PapanikolaouH-Index: 16
view all 3 authors...
We analyze the economic tradeoffs associated with firms' decisions to invest in incremental and radical innovation, in the context of pharmaceutical research and development. We develop a new, ex ante, measure of a drug candidate's innovativeness by comparing its chemical structure to that of previously developed drug candidates: this allows us to better distinguish between novel and so-called “me-too” drugs. We show that, on average, novel drug candidates 1) generate higher private and social r...
2 CitationsSource
#1Danielle Li (Harvard University)H-Index: 7
#2Pierre Azoulay (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)H-Index: 18
Last.Bhaven N. Sampat (Columbia University)H-Index: 29
view all 3 authors...
Public funding for research depends on the idea that the resulting knowledge translates into socially valuable outcomes, such as medicines. Such linkages are easier to assert than to prove. Li et al. studied 27 years of grant-level funding by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. About 10% of grants are directly cited by patents, suggesting some technological application, and 30% of grants are cited in research articles that are then cited in patents. Five percent of grants result in papers ci...
27 CitationsSource
Evaluators with expertise in a particular field may have an informational advantage in separating good projects from bad. At the same time, they may also have personal preferences that impact their objectivity. This paper examines these issues in the context of peer review at the US National Institutes of Health. I show that evaluators are both better informed and more biased about the quality of projects in their own area. On net, the benefits of expertise weakly dominate the costs of bias. As ...
22 CitationsSource
#1William R. KerrH-Index: 35
#2Danielle LiH-Index: 7
Last.Alexis BrownellH-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
#1Danielle LiH-Index: 7
The move toward increased school accountability may substantially affect the career risks that school leaders face without providing commensurate changes in pay. Since effective school leaders likely have significant scope in choosing where to work, these uncompensated risks may undermine the efficacy of accountability reforms by limiting the ability of low-performing schools to attract and retain effective leaders. This paper empirically evaluates the economic importance of principal mobility i...
7 Citations
#1Danielle Li (Harvard University)H-Index: 7
#2Leila Agha (BU: Boston University)H-Index: 4
This paper examines the success of peer-review panels in predicting the future quality of proposed research. We construct new data to track publication, citation, and patenting outcomes associated with more than 130,000 research project (R01) grants funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health from 1980 to 2008. We find that better peer-review scores are consistently associated with better research outcomes and that this relationship persists even when we include detailed controls for an inv...
68 CitationsSource