nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2007‒03‒31
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. The Benefits of Being Economics Professor A (and not Z) By C. Mirjam van Praag; Bernard M.S. van Praag
  2. Which Factors Determine Academic Performance of Undergraduate Students in Economics? Some Spanish Evidence By Dolado, Juan José; Morales, Eduardo
  3. Ability and Employer Learning: Evidence from the Economist Labor Market By Paul Oyer
  5. Harnessing Success: Determinants of University Technology Licensing Performance By Sharon Belenzon; Mark Schankerman

  1. By: C. Mirjam van Praag (University of Amsterdam, Tinbergen Institute, Max Planck Institute of Economics Jena and IZA); Bernard M.S. van Praag (SCHOLAR, University of Amsterdam, Tinbergen Institute, CESifo and IZA)
    Abstract: Alphabetic name ordering on multi-authored academic papers, which is the convention in the economics discipline and various other disciplines, is to the advantage of people whose last name initials are placed early in the alphabet. As it turns out, Professor A, who has been a first author more often than Professor Z, will have published more articles and experienced a faster growth rate over the course of her career as a result of reputation and visibility. Moreover, authors know that name ordering matters and indeed take ordering seriously: Several characteristics of an author group composition determine the decision to deviate from the default alphabetic name order to a significant extent.
    Keywords: performance measurement, incentives, economists, name ordering
    JEL: A11 A14 J32 J44
    Date: 2007–03
  2. By: Dolado, Juan José; Morales, Eduardo
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of academic performance of first-year undergraduate students in Economics at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, over the period 2001-2005. We focus on a few core subjects which differ in their degree of mathematical complexity. Type of school, specialization track at high school, and the grades obtained at the university entry-exam are among the key factors we examine. Our main finding is that those students who completed a technical track at high school tend to do much better in subjects involving mathematics than those who followed a social sciences track (tailor-made for future economics students) and that the latter do not perform significantly better than the former in subjects with less degree of formalism. Moreover, students from public schools are predominant in the lower and upper parts of the grade distribution while females tend to perform better than males.
    Keywords: academic performance; multinomial logit; pre-university determinants; quantile regressions
    JEL: I21 I29
    Date: 2007–03
  3. By: Paul Oyer
    Abstract: I study the human capital development and firm-worker matching processes for PhD economists. This group is useful for this purpose because the types of jobs they hold can be easily categorized and they have an observable productivity measure (that is, publications.) I derive a two-period model to motivate an empirical analysis of economist job matching upon graduation, matching ten years later, and productivity in the first ten years. I show that matching to a higher ranked institution affects productivity. I present evidence that employers improve their estimates of economists' ability early in their career in a way that determines longer-term job placement. I also find that the initial placement of economists to institutions does not show much evidence of systematic misallocation along observable characteristics.
    JEL: J24 J44 M51
    Date: 2007–03
  4. By: Frances Ruane; Richard S.J. Tol (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    Abstract: We rank economics departments in the Republic of Ireland according to the number of publications, number of citations, and (successive) h-index of research-active staff. We increase the discriminatory power of the h-index by introducing two ancillary indices. The first (h+) measures the excess over the actual h-index, while the second index (h?) measures the distance to the next h-index. The latter index is readily used to make the h-index a rational number.
    Keywords: Ranking, economists, h-index
    JEL: Z00
    Date: 2007–03
  5. By: Sharon Belenzon; Mark Schankerman
    Abstract: We study the impact of incentive pay, local development objectives and government constraints onuniversity licensing performance. We develop and test a simple contracting model of technologylicensing offices, using new survey information together with panel data on U.S. universities for1995-99. We find that private universities are much more likely to adopt incentive pay than publicones, but ownership does not affect licensing performance conditional on the use of incentive pay.Adopting incentive pay is associated with about 30-40 percent more income per license. Universitieswith strong local development objectives generate about 30 percent less income per license, but aremore likely to license to local (in-state) startup companies. Stronger government constraints are'costly' in terms of foregone license income and startup activity. These results are robust to controlsfor observed and unobserved heterogeneity.
    Keywords: incentives, performance pay, universities, technology transfer, licensing, localdevelopment
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 F23
    Date: 2007–02

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