nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒27
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. The effect of academic socializing strategies on collaboration: Empirical evidence from European economics departments By Peter Schneider
  2. Governance configurations and academic outcomes: The example of Ph.D. education By Peter Schneider; Dieter Sadowski
  3. The Complexity Era in Economics By David Colander; Richard P.F. Holt; J. Barkley Rosser

  1. By: Peter Schneider (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EC, University of Trier)
    Abstract: We present an explorative analysis from qualitative and quantitative data of fourteen European economics departments for the years 2001 to 2003 and investigate how one component of a successful PhD education, which is socializing PhD students into the academic community, should be designed in order to support intercultural collaboration among PhD students. We employ Multi-Value Qualitative Comparative Analysis (MVQCA) to analyze the data. Our results reveal unique patterns of socializing strategies present in economics departments with either high or low intercultural collaboration among PhD students. It turns out that high intercultural collaboration is characterized by two configurations of different socializing strategies. In the first configuration we find that a “high number of foreign PhD students” in a department sufficiently explains high intercultural collaboration as it is realized in American research universities. In the second configuration we find that a combination of “different backgrounds in academic disciplines” among PhD students with “active support for research visits” sufficiently explains high intercultural collaboration. Low intercultural collaboration is characterized by three single strategies: “Financing attendance at academic conferences or events about once per year”, “no active support for research visits” and a “small number of foreign PhD students”. Each condition is sufficient to explain the outcome. The results for high intercultural collaboration are not affected by any of five resource conditions we added as controls. Low intercultural collaboration though was partly co-explained by low amounts of extra time among faculty and low financial resources of the department. The results indicate that high intercultural collaboration is not only supported by a socializing strategy typical for American research universities but can also be achieved by different socializing strategies.
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Peter Schneider; Dieter Sadowski (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EC, University of Trier)
    Abstract: In many European countries efforts are undertaken to improve doctoral education. In the context of new public governance in the Higher Education sector, less state, more competition, less academic self-governance, more internal hierarchy and more influence by external stakeholders under the common roof of New Public Management (NPM) are considered most promising for successful PhD education. Therefore according to a steering model of American research universities many initiatives are undertaken to introduce more managerial elements in European university departments. Based on an explorative analysis of qualitative and quantitative data of 26 continental European, English and American economics departments, we investigate the steering effects of the five above mentioned governance dimensions in the years 2001 to 2002 on subsequent placement success of PhD graduates. To control the impact of resources on PhD education, next to governance regimes we added four different resource conditions to the analysis: financial resources, publication record of the department, total number of professors in a department and annual number of PhD graduates in a department, Using fuzzy-set QCA to analyze the data, our results deliver strong support for local best ways of steering configurations and no superiority of one system over the other. Introducing market elements though seems to be important in any governance system but only in combination with different co-conditions. In respect to our control conditions only financial resources contribute considerably to the understanding of steering PhD education. Our results strengthen the strong impact of competition as an effective governance instrument and take into account the relevance of financial resources.
    Keywords: New Public Governance, competition, higher education, PhD education, fsQCA
    Date: 2010
  3. By: David Colander; Richard P.F. Holt; J. Barkley Rosser
    Abstract: This article argues that the neoclassical era in economics has ended and is being replaced by a new era. What best characterizes the new era is its acceptance that the economy is complex, and thus that it might be called the complexity era. The complexity era has not arrived through a revolution. Instead, it has evolved out of the many strains of neoclassical work, along with work done by less orthodox mainstream and heterodox economists. It is only in its beginning stages. The article discusses the work that is forming the foundation of the complexity era, and how that work will likely change the way in which we understand economic phenomena and the economics profession.
    Date: 2010–01

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