nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2009‒01‒03
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. An Analysis of New Zealand Economists' Research Output 2000-2006 By David L. Anderson; John Tresler
  2. Comparing the Early Research Performance of PhD Graduates in Labor Economics in Europe and the USA By Ana Rute Cardoso; Paulo Guimarães; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  3. Superstar Extinction By Pierre Azoulay; Joshua S. Graff Zivin; Jialan Wang
  4. Scientific (Wo)manpower? Gender and the Composition and Earnings of PhDs in Sweden By Amilon, Anna; Persson, Inga; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  5. Academics Appreciate Awards. A New Aspect of Incentives in Research By Bruno S. Frey; Susanne Neckermann

  1. By: David L. Anderson (Queen's University); John Tresler (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine, in some depth, the research practices of New Zealand’s academic economists. To date, virtually all published work in this area has focussed on the overall productivity of the country’s economics departments. However, such rankings give little information on the research performance of various sub-groups of economists. In order to address this situation, we utilize descriptive statistics to assess research output by academic rank, gender, educational attainment, and publication source. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the performance of individual researchers.
    Keywords: economics departments; department rankings; research output; economics research
    JEL: A10 A14 C81 J24
    Date: 2008–08–12
  2. By: Ana Rute Cardoso; Paulo Guimarães; Klaus F. Zimmermann
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the early research performance of PhD graduates in labor economics, addressing the following questions: Are there major productivity differences between graduates from American and European institutions? If so, how relevant is the quality of the training received (i.e. ranking of institution and supervisor) and the research environment in the subsequent job placement institution? The population under study consists of labor economics PhD graduates who received their degree in the years 2000 to 2005 in Europe or the USA. Research productivity is evaluated alternatively as the number of publications or the quality-adjusted number of publications of an individual. When restricting the analysis to the number of publications, results suggest a higher productivity by graduates from European universities than from USA universities, but this difference vanishes when accounting for the quality of the publication. The results also indicate that graduates placed at American institutions, in particular top ones, are likely to publish more quality-adjusted articles than their European counterparts. This may be because, when hired, they already have several good acceptances or because of more focused research efforts and clearer career incentives.
    Keywords: graduate programs; research productivity
    JEL: A23 J44 A11 A14 A10
    Date: 2008–12–15
  3. By: Pierre Azoulay; Joshua S. Graff Zivin; Jialan Wang
    Abstract: We estimate the magnitude of spillovers generated by 161 academic "superstars" onto their collaborators' research output. These life scientists died while still being actively engaged in science, thus providing an exogenous source of variation in the structure of their collaborators' coauthorship networks. Following the death of a superstar, we find that collaborators experience, on average, a lasting 5 to 10% decline in their quality-adjusted publication rates. By exploring interactions of the treatment effect with a wide range of star, coauthor and star/coauthor dyad characteristics, we seek to adjudicate between plausible mechanisms that might explain this finding. Taken together, our results suggest that spillovers are circumscribed in ideas space, but not in physical or social space. Superstar extinction reveals the boundaries of the scientific field to which the star contributes -- the "invisible college."
    JEL: O3 O31 O43
    Date: 2008–12
  4. By: Amilon, Anna (SFI - Danish National Centre for Social Research); Persson, Inga (Lund University); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Kalmar University)
    Abstract: Although the share of female PhDs has increased explosively since the 1980s, little research has focused on the utilisation and remuneration of female versus male scientific human capital. Using rich Swedish cross-sectional register data on the stock of PhDs in 2004, this paper analyses to what extent men and women choose academic versus non-academic employment, and to what earnings differences these choices lead. Results show that women are significantly less likely than men to be academically employed in the natural sciences and medicine, whereas no significant gender differences prevail for the social sciences and the humanities. On average, women earn 15 per cent less than men, and the academically employed earn 24 per cent less than PhDs outside academia. Gender earnings differences are larger in the academic than in the non-academic labour market in the humanities and the natural sciences, whereas the opposite holds in the social sciences and medicine.
    Keywords: gender, earnings, scientific human capital
    JEL: J31 J70
    Date: 2008–12
  5. By: Bruno S. Frey; Susanne Neckermann
    Abstract: This paper analyzes awards as a means of motivation prevalent in the scientific community, but so far neglected in the economic literature on incentives, and discusses their relationship to monetary compensation. Awards are better suited than performance pay to reward scientific tasks, which are typically of a vague nature. They derive their value, for instance, from signaling research talent to outsiders. Awards should therefore be taken seriously as a means of motivating research that may complement, or even substitute for, monetary incentives. While we discuss awards in the context of academia, our conclusions apply to other principal-agent settings as well.
    Keywords: Awards; Money; Incentives; Academia; Research
    JEL: C93 J33 M52
    Date: 2008–11

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