nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2006‒06‒10
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmstrom
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Publish or peer-rich ? The role of skills and networks in hiring economics professors By Pierre-Philippe Combes; Laurent Linnemer; Michael Visser
  2. The Undergraduate Origins of Ph.D. Economists By John J. Siegfried; Wendy A. Stock
  3. A cross-country evaluation of cheating in academia: is it related to ‘real world’ business ethics? By Maria Fátima Rocha; Aurora A.C. Teixeira
  4. An Examination of Alternative Approaches to Measuring Congestion in British Universities By Tony Flegg; David O. Allen
  5. The Economic Impact of Colleges and Universities By John J. Siegfried; Allen R. Sanderson; Peter McHenry

  1. By: Pierre-Philippe Combes; Laurent Linnemer; Michael Visser
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of success at the concours d'agrégation en sciences économiques. This is a centralized hiring procedure through which professors of economics are selected in France. Using detailed data from all concours held between 1984 and 2003, we focus on the role of the candidates' publication records (number and quality of scientific articles) and networks (defined as professional links between candidates and the jury members who take the recruitment decisions). Both sets of variables have statistically significant effects on the likelihood of getting hired. The effect of network connections is important in the sense that a substantial improvement of the publication record is needed to compensate for not being linked to the jury.
    Keywords: Employment ; Hiring; Professional network
    JEL: M51
    Date: 2006–05
  2. By: John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA); Wendy A. Stock (Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Montana State University)
    Abstract: We document the types of undergraduate colleges and universities attended by those who earned a doctorate in economics from an American university from 1966 through 2003 and examine relationships between type of undergraduate institution and attrition and time-to-degree in Ph.D. programs. The total number of new economics Ph.D.s awarded to U.S. citizens has declined precipitously over the past thirty years. Concurrently, the number of economics doctorates who hold undergraduate degrees from U.S. universities has fallen by half: from a high of about 800 in 1972 to about 400 in 2003. Among those who have earned undergraduate degrees from American institutions, the mix of schools attended by the doctorates has remained relatively stable, with about 55 percent of those who earn a Ph.D. in economics each year holding their bachelors degree from a university that offers a Ph.D. in economics, and a bit more than 10 percent holding a bachelors degree from a selective liberal arts college. Currently, 18 of the 25 American undergraduate institutions that send the largest percentage of their graduating classes on to earn a Ph.D. in economics are liberal arts colleges. Graduates of liberal arts colleges also have shorter time-to-degree and higher verbal GRE scores than other economics Ph.D. students.
    Keywords: Ph.D. in economics, undergraduate degree
    JEL: A22 A23
    Date: 2006–05
  3. By: Maria Fátima Rocha (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto and Universidade Fernando Pessoa); Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: Today’s economics and business students are expected to be our future’s business people and potentially our tomorrow’s economic leaders and politicians. Thus, their beliefs and practices are likely to affect the definition of acceptable economics and business ethics. The empirical evaluation of the cheating phenomenon in academia has been almost exclusively focused on the US context, and the non-US studies involve, in general, a narrow scope of countries. In the present paper we perform a wide cross-country study on the determinants of economics and business undergraduate cheating which involves 21 countries from the American (4), European (14), Africa (2) and Oceania (1) Continents and 7213 students. We found that the average magnitude of copying among the economics and business undergraduates is quite high (62%) but with a significant cross-country heterogeneity. The probability of cheating is significantly lower in students enrolled in schools located in the Nordic or the US plus British Isles blocks when compared with their South Europe counterparts; quite surprisingly that probability is also lower for the African block. Distinctly, students enrolled in schools from the Western and especially from the Eastern Europe observe statistically significant higher propensities for perpetrating academic fraud. Our findings further suggest that average cheating propensity in academia is significantly correlated with ‘real world’ business corruption.
    Keywords: cheating; corruption; university; economics; business; countries
    JEL: A22 I23
    Date: 2006–06
  4. By: Tony Flegg (School of Economics, University of the West of England); David O. Allen (School of Economics, University of the West of England)
    Abstract: This paper examines three alternative methods of measuring congestion, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. These methods are the conventional approach of Färe and Grosskopf, the alternative proposed by Cooper et al., and a new method developed by Tone and Sahoo. Each method is found to have merits and demerits. The properties of the different methods are examined using data for 45 British universities in the period 1980/81 to 1992/93. Despite conceptual differences, Tone and Sahoo’s approach and that of Cooper et al. are found to produce fairly similar results. Contrary to expectations, Färe and Grosskopf’s approach generally indicates more congestion than the other two procedures. The main reason for this is identified as being its use of CRS rather than VRS as the assumed technology. Although the three alternative measures of congestion are found to be positively correlated, the correlations are not strong enough for them to be regarded as substitutes. Also contrary to expectations, the results suggest that academic overstaffing, rather than excessive numbers of undergraduates, was the largest single cause of congestion in British universities during the period under review. Even so, only a modest amount of congestion is identified.
    Keywords: British universities; congestion; DEA; Methods
    Date: 2006–05
  5. By: John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA); Allen R. Sanderson (Department of Economics, University of Chicago); Peter McHenry (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: This essay describes methodological approaches and pitfalls common to studies of the economic impact of colleges and universities. Such studies often claim local benefits that imply annualized rates of return on local investment exceeding 100 percent. We address problems in these studies pertaining to the specification of the counterfactual, the definition of the local area, the identification of "new" expenditures, the tendency to double count economic impacts, the role of local taxes, and the omission of local spillover benefits from enhanced human capital created by higher education, and offer several suggestions for improvement. If these economic impact studies were conducted at the level of accuracy most institutions require of faculty research, their claims of local economic benefits would not be so preposterous, and, as a result, trust in and respect for higher education officials would be enhanced.
    Keywords: Colleges, universities, local economic impact, economic impact study
    JEL: I23 R11
    Date: 2006–05

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