The communist norm requires that scientists widely share the results of their work. Where did this norm come from, and how does it persist? I argue on the basis of a game-theoretic model that rational credit-maximizing scientists will in many cases conform to the norm. This means that the origins and persistence of the communist norm can be explained even in the absence of a social contract or enforcement, contrary to recent work by Michael Strevens but adding to previous work emphasizing the benefits of the incentive structure created by the priority rule.
- SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION
- GENERAL CREATIVITY