Changing places: networks and job markets in open science

Robin Cowan, MERIT, Maastricht University

In this paper we develop a simulation model of knowledge creation and diffusion within the realm of open science. Agents gather knowledge, innovate, and diffuse that
knowledge. From time to time agents can change jobs, moving from one department
to another. This process takes place with agents each embedded in two networks — one inside their departments, and one outside their departments. The latter can
represent the type of networking that is high on the European policy agenda today. We explore the relationships between the amount of networking, the distribution of it among agents, job market activity as parameters, and average knowledge levels, distribution of knowledge across agents and departments, and the extent to which
specialization emerges. We find that there is an internal optimal level of long-distance networking, but knowledge growth is maximized when the distribution of networking
is as flat as possible. Increasing job market activity decreases the optimal amount of networking but does not change its optimal distribution.

Date: 16 September-00 0000