Why do Big Science projects exist? The role of social preferences

Academic Article


  • Abstract Recent work has excluded sociocultural factors among the determinants of Big Science projects. This paper empirically tests the role of four different measures of social preferences, namely altruism, trust, negative reciprocity, and positive reciprocity, in increasing the likelihood of sustaining international cooperation in Big Science projects. Using a novel database of cross-sectional observations from seventy-six countries, this study finds evidence of a positive and statistically significant relationship between negative reciprocity and both time and risk preferences, namely patience and risk-taking. The science policy implication of this study is that a broader theory of clubs can guide meta-organizations in establishing, maintaining, or denying membership in Big Science projects based on the long-term orientation and reputation as a committed cooperator of a country.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • June 27, 2022
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • club theory
  • meta-organization of membership
  • science policy
  • social preferences
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 853
  • End Page

  • 864
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 6