nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2008‒06‒07
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. The Determinants of Delayed Entrance into the Academic Career : The Case of France By Liliane Bonnal; Jean-François Giret
  2. In search of relevance: The changing contract between science and society By Laurens K. Hessels; Harro van Lente; Ruud Smits
  3. The Invariant Method is Manipulable By Martin Strobel; László Á. Kóczy

  1. By: Liliane Bonnal (CRIEF - centre de Recherche sur l'Intégration Economique et Financière - Université de Poitiers); Jean-François Giret (CEREQ - Centre d'études et de recherches sur les qualifications - Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - ministère de l'Emploi, cohésion sociale et logement, IREDU - Institut de recherche sur l'éducation : Sociologie et Economie de l'Education - CNRS : UMR5225 - Université de Bourgogne)
    Abstract: The recruitment of young PhD graduates in the academic sector is linked to a strong uncertainty on their potential teaching and research productivity. When giving tenure<br />to a PhD graduate, employers -universities or research institutions in France- attempt to reduce the asymmetric information on the research abilities of the applicant. However, because of the nature of the scientific work and the way it is rewarded, it is difficult to assess<br />the absolute value of much of the work of PhD graduates in the short term. So, in order to recruit the best PhD graduates for permanent jobs, public employers select from the signals sent by the applicant in their curriculum vitae. Our paper analyses the factors affecting the<br />access duration to a permanent job in the French academic sector. We focus on a sample of 1400 individuals who obtained their PhDs in 2001 and were interviewed in 2004. A discrete time model is used to analyse the main factors influencing the access duration. In order to assess the effect of a post-doctoral position on the academic job search, our empirical approach involves estimation of models that simultaneously explain the access duration to a permanent job and post-doc participation. Our main results indicate that the scientific publications and the sources of financial supports obtained during the PhD have an influence<br />on the access duration to a permanent job, which is coherent with the idea that potentials employers use this information as a proxy of research and teaching abilities. In addition, our results provide consistent support for the hypothesis that a post-doc position may be useful to move up in the job queue for permanent positions in France.
    Keywords: France ; PhD ; Academic sector ; Labour market entrance ; Post-doc
    Date: 2008–05–30
  2. By: Laurens K. Hessels; Harro van Lente; Ruud Smits
    Abstract: This paper presents a framework to study the historical development of the relationship between science and society. We elaborate this relationship as a contract that specifies the mission of scientific research, the rationales for public support for science, and the conditions under which scientists work. These three structural elements will always be part of the contract, but their specific content can vary. The credibility cycle, as a model for scientific practice, helps to describe and understand the consequences of a changing contract for the work of individual scientists. A brief case study of chemistry in the Netherlands demonstrates the usefulness of the framework. We show how concepts of relevance have changed since 1975 and how this affects the practice of academic chemistry.
    Keywords: relevance, contract, credibility cycle, chemistry
    Date: 2008–05
  3. By: Martin Strobel (Department of Economics, Maastricht University); László Á. Kóczy (Budapest Tech)
    Abstract: We show that the invariant method (Pinski and Narin, 1976), recently axiomatised by Palacios-Huerta and Volij (2004), and used to quality-rank academic journals is subject to manipulation: a journal can boost its performance by making additional citations to other journals.
    Keywords: quality ranking academic journals, invariant method, manipulation
    Date: 2007–05

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