Are scientific ideas compatible with personal interests? An application of game theory


  • Juan Carlos García Bermejo-Ochoa Universidad Autónoma de Madrid



reward system, scientific development


Is the reward system efficient to achieve that scientists take the research decisions that contribute most to the epistemic growth of their discipline? This paper approaches this question with regard to a wide class of games. By means of some very simple examples, it shows how easily it may happen that incentives get distorted, even if all members of the scientific community share a common epistemic point of view, every obtained result is published, there are not redundant results, contributions are evaluated by direct inspection, and scientists are rewarded according to their relative performance.


Metrics Loading ...


Becker, W. E. Jr (1975). “The University Professor as a Utility Maximizer and Producer of Learning, Research and Income”, Journal of Human Resources, vol. X, pp. 107-115.

Diamond, Arthur M. Jr. (1988). “Science as a Rational Enterprise”, Theory and Decision, 24, pp. 147-167.

Desgrupta, Partha y David, Paul A. (1994). “Toward a New Economics of Science”, Research Policy, 23, pp. 487-521.

García-Bermejo, Juan C. (2000). “Ideales científicos e incentivos personales. Un análisis de preferencias”. (En prensa).

Kreps, D. M. (1990). A Course in Microeconomic Theory, N. York, Harvester Wheatsheaf (Hay versión en castellano bajo el título Curso de Teoria Microeconómica, publicada en Madrid en 1995 por McGraw-Hill/Interamericana de España).

Levy, David M. (1988). “The Market for Fame and Fortune”, History of Political Economy, 20, pp. 615-625.

Mas-Colell, A., Whinston M. D. and Green J. R. (1995). Microeconomic Theory, Oxford University Press.

Myerson, Roger B. (1991). Game Theory. Analysis of Conflict, Harvard University Press.

Pérez Castrillo, David (1990). “Procesos de I+D y estructura industrial: un panorama de modelos teóricos”, Economía Política/Herri-Economiaz, 6, pp. 171-241.

Sent, Esther.Mirjam (1999), “Economics of Science: Survey and Suggestions”, The Journal of Economic Methodology, 6, 1, pp. 95-124.

Solís, Carlos (1994). Razones e intereses. La historia de la ciencia después de Jun, Ediciones Piados, Barcelona.

Stephan, Paula E. (1996). “The Economics of Science”, Journal of Economic Literature, XXXIV, pp. 1199-1235.

Wible, James R. (1998). “Economics of Science”, en Davis, John B., Hands, D. Wade and Mäki, Uskali (comps.), The Handbook of Economic Methodology, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. Cheltenham, pp. 145-153.



How to Cite

García Bermejo-Ochoa, J. C. (2001). Are scientific ideas compatible with personal interests? An application of game theory. Estudios Económicos De El Colegio De México, 16(1), 3–56.