Starting with the literature on the rising incidence of co-authorship in economics, this paper presents a theoretical model to analyze choices of co-authorship based on the assumption that authors are motivated to optimize the returns to publications. The model analyzes two pay structures, one that is proportional to the number of authors, and one that is not. The heterogeneity of the researchers implies for the policy-maker a trade-off between the objective of maximizing effort and that of selecting better researchers. The trade-off is more relevant when low-quality researchers choose opportunistic behavior in order to collaborate with high-quality researchers.
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