nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒10‒25
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Credit History: The Changing Nature of Scientific Credit By Joshua S. Gans; Fiona Murray
  2. Academic Institutions in Search of Quality: Local Orders and Global Standards By Catherine Paradeise; Jean-Claude Thoenig
  3. Was it worth it? An empirical analysis of over-education among Ph.D. recipients in Italy By Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta
  4. Gender and Competition: Evidence from Academic Promotions in France By Clément Bosquet; Pierre-Philippe Combes; Cecilia García-Peñalosa

  1. By: Joshua S. Gans; Fiona Murray
    Abstract: This paper considers the role of the allocation of scientific credit in determining the organization of science. We examine changes in that organization and the nature of credit allocation in the past half century. Our contribution is a formal model of that organizational choice that considers scientist decisions to integrate, collaborate or publish and how credit should be allocated to foster efficient outcomes.
    JEL: O32
    Date: 2013–10
  2. By: Catherine Paradeise (LATTS - Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (UPEMLV) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS : UMR8134); Jean-Claude Thoenig (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine)
    Abstract: Quality judgments in terms of academic standards of excellence required by external stakeholders such as labour markets and steering hierarchies obviously exert strong pressure on universities. Do they generate an "iron cage" effect imposing a passive and uniform conformity on global standards? The paper examines the organization of higher education and research set-ups with a strong lens. What does academic quality actually mean when observed in the field? How do universities and their subunits - professional schools, colleges, etc - actually achieve what they call quality? A methodological and analytical framework is tested. Three sociological concepts - diversity, recognition, local order - make it possible to build four ideal-types applicable to comparative inquiry. Such a typology identifies the interdependencies existing between how they position themselves with respect to quality dimensions and internal organizational measures. The paper contributes to a broader organizational study agenda: how local orders face and deal with market and hierarchy dynamics in a global world of apparently increasing standardization under pressure from soft power. It questions the effect of the "iron cage" hypothesis. It lists a series of changing patterns or dynamics between types of universities in terms of quality sensitivity, fabrication and content. Diversity and standardization in fact coexist.
    Keywords: Local orders, academic quality, global standardization, ideal-type approaches, organizational diversity
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta (University of Naples L’Orientale, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities)
    Abstract: This paper aims to provide an empirical examination of factors associated with overeducation among Ph.D. graduates in Italy. Our investigation is based on recently released data collected by the Italian National Institute of Statistics by means of interviews with a large sample of Ph.D. recipients, carried out a few years after they obtained their Ph.D. degree. We measured the mismatch between their current job and previous Ph.D. studies using two direct subjective evaluations of over-education, which distinguish between the usefulness of the Ph.D. title to get the current job position and to perform the current work activities. Even if the incidence of over-education varies according to the measurement applied, we found that it is highly widespread among Ph.D. recipients. Our econometric analyses are aimed at identifying factors associated with over-education and are based on the standard probit model and the bivariate probit model with sample selection which allows to control for self selection into employment. Our results show that over-education is significantly correlated with: i) a number of Ph-D. related variables, such as the scientific field of study, having attended courses or visiting periods abroad; ii) some job-related characteristics, such as working in the academia or being mainly involved in research related activities; iii) the channel of access to the job; iv) residential location. This paper contributes to the literature focusing on job-education mismatch by providing, to the best of our knowledge, the first empirical analysis of over-education among Ph.D. recipients in Italy; moreover, it provides some useful insights to evaluate the professional doctoral graduates in Italy.
    Keywords: over-education, Ph.D. recipients, self-selection
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: Clément Bosquet (London School of Economics and Political Science (SERC) and AixMarseille School of Economics); Pierre-Philippe Combes (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics, EHESS & CNRS.); Cecilia García-Peñalosa (Aix Marseille University (Aix Marseille School of Economics), Cnrs and Ehess)
    Abstract: Differences in promotion across genders are still prevalent in many occupations. Recent work based on experimental evidence indicates that women participate less in or exert lower effort during contests. We exploit the unique features of the promotion system for French academics to look at women's attitudes towards competition in an actual labour market. Using data for academic economists over the period 1991-2008 we find that, conditional on entering the competition, there is no difference in promotions across the genders, which is diffcult to reconcile with either discrimination or a poorer performance of women in contests. In contrast, women have a substantially lower probability than men to enter the promotion contest. Our data does not support that this gap is due to differences in costs or in preferences concerning department prestige, indicating that women are less willing than men to take part in contests.
    Keywords: gender gaps, promotions, academic labour markets
    JEL: J7 I23
    Date: 2013–10–15

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