25 Oct – DEM Lunch Seminar with Prof. Rainer Widmann, Max Plank Institute, Munich

  • Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF)
    19 October 2023

Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Accused Scientists, and their Research

Speaker: Rainer Widmann, Max Plank Institute, Munich, De

DATE: Wednesday, 25 October 2023

TIME: 13.00 – 14.00


Campus Kirchberg
6, Rue Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi
L-1359 Luxembourg

– Free seminar
Registration link

Tel: +352 46 66 44 6283

Joint work with Marina Chugunova and Michael Rose


We study academic consequences of non-academic misconduct for accused researchers at US universities. Focusing on allegations of sexual misconduct, we find detrimental effects on scientific impact, productivity and career. Other researchers are less likely to cite the perpetrator’s prior work after allegations surface. The effect is absent in male-dominated fields and weakens with distance in the co-authorship network, indicating that researchers learn about allegations via their peers. Although we find that alleged perpetrators tend to remain active researchers, they are less likely to be affiliated with a university and publish fewer articles following the incident.

About Rainer Widmann:

Rainer Widmann is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. His research focuses on innovation policy in the European context, the economics of science, and the organization of innovation. In the past, he has examined the relationship between labor market access and knowledge diffusion, the elasticity of inventors’ location choices to local top income tax rates, and the impact of research grants on firm innovation. He has also studied how coders respond to competitive pressures in online coding contests, and the consequences of the sudden death of a faculty member on the careers of postdocs and graduate students. Ongoing work examines how the aging of the inventor population in firms affects innovation, and how inventors’ careers in the firm evolve after a patent is filed, with a particular focus on team dynamics.

Supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) 17931929