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Paula Stephan

Professor    ,

Ph.D., University of Michigan


Economics of Science, Immigrant Scientists, Innovation and Geography, Role of University Scientists


Paula Stephan’s research interests focus on the careers of scientists and engineers and the process by which knowledge moves across institutional boundaries in the economy. She is a member of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce, National Academies of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the board of reviewing editors, Science.  She currently serves on the European Research Council’s Expert Group on Key Performance Indicators.  She served on the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, National Institutes of Health from 2005-2009 and served on the Advisory Committee of the Social, Behavioral, and Economics Programs, National Science Foundation, 2001-2008.  In 2012 ScienceCareers named Stephan as their first “person of the year.”  Her research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Stephan graduated from Grinnell College (Phi Beta Kappa) with a B.A. in Economics and earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. She has been a visiting scholar at Katholeike Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, the Wizzenschaf Zentrum fur Social Forchung, Berlin, a Wertheim Fellow, Harvard University, and an ICER fellow, Turin, Italy.

Stephan is a research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research.

Paula Stephan has published numerous articles in such journals as The American Economic Review, Science, Nature, The Journal of Economic Literature, Management Science, Organization Science, Economic Inquiry, The International Economic Review and Social Studies of Science. She co-wrote, with Sharon Levin, Striking the Mother Lode in Science (Oxford University Press, 1992). Her book, How Economics Shapes Science, was published by Harvard University Press in 2012.  It was translated into Korean in 2013 and is scheduled for release in Chinese in 2014.