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    Jeff Furman

    Associate Professor, Strategy & Innovation Department
    Boston University
    Questrom School of Business
    595 Commonwealth Ave.
    Boston, MA 02215
    (617) 353-4656
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    Jeffrey L. Furman is Associate Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Boston University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He completed his Ph.D. at MIT-Sloan and holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a B.A. in Psychology from its College of Arts & Sciences. Furman’s research addresses issues at the intersection of Strategy, International Business, and Innovation. His recent projects examine the strategic management of science-based firms, the impact of institutions on cumulative innovation, and science and innovation policy. Jeff’s research has been accepted for publication in the American Economic Review (AER), the Review of Economics & Statistics, Organization Science, the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (JEBO), Research Policy, Industrial & Corporate Change (ICC), and Nature, among others. He has also served on the editorial review boards of the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), Strategic Organization! (SO!), Journal of Management, and Industry & Innovation. Jeff is an active member of the Academy of Management (AOM), is a board member of the CCC, and has served as reviewer, presenter, discussant, and session chair at AOM annual meetings and has served as a member of the BPS Division Executive Committee. Furman also co-organizes the NBER’s weekly Productivity Seminar.

To what extent does “false science” impact the rate and direction of scientific change? We examine the impact of more than 1,100 scientific retractions on the citation trajectories of articles that are related to retracted papers in intellectual space but were published prior to the retraction event. Our results indicate that following retraction and relative to carefully selected controls, related articles experience a lasting five to ten percent decline in the rate of citations received. This citation penalty is more severe when the associated retracted article involves fraud or misconduct, relative to cases where the retraction occurs because of honest mistakes. In addition, we find that the arrival rate of new articles and funding flows into these fields decrease after a retraction. We probe the mechanisms that might underlie these negative spillovers. The evidence is consistent with the view that scientists avoid retraction-afflicted fields lest their own reputation suffer through mere association, but we cannot rule out the possibility that our estimates also reflect scientists’ learning about these fields’ shaky intellectual foundations.

Digital Reader: Resources Recommended by the Speaker:

  • Azoulay, Pierre, Jeffrey L. Furman, Joshua L. Krieger, & Fiona Murray. 2015. Retractions. Review of Economics and Statistics 97(5): 1118-1136.
  • Furman, J. L., Jensen, K., & Murray, F. 2012. Governing knowledge in the scientific community: exploring the role of retractions in biomedicine. Research Policy, 41(2): 276–290.
  • Azoulay, P., Bonatti, A. & Krieger, J. L. 2017. The career effects of scandal: Evidence from scientific retractions. Research Policy, 46(9): 1552-1569.