Unveiling the determinants of scientific productivity in middle-income countries: an economics of science perspective

Lorena Rivera Léon

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

366 Downloads (Pure)


The thesis aims to understand the role of scientists and scientific communities in the process of knowledge creation by looking at scientific productivity, its determinants, and effects at the individual level, and the macro level, in the context of Middle-Income Countries (MICs). Using a quantitative econometric approach anchored in the economics of science literature and making use of social network theory, the results of the four empirical chapters on Mexico and South Africa point to a complex picture of determinants in the context of MICs: one where personal and cognitive characteristics –notably gender, ethnicity and age, organizational and social structures, and collaboration practices, all interact and affect the productivity of researchers. The thesis provides tools for informing policy discussions on how best to implement science policies in MICs. Notably, the results point to the need for policy intervention to address the promotion of women to senior academic positions and promote cross-race and cross-gender interactions and diversity in academic networks.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Cowan, Robin, Supervisor
  • Mairesse, Jacques, Supervisor
  • Müller, Moritz, Supervisor, External person
Award date10 Jun 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464232080
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • economics of science
  • scientific productivity
  • gender productivity gaps
  • scientific networks
  • academic mobility
  • economics of networks

Cite this