nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒12‒06
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Happiness of economists By Feld, Lars P.; Necker, Sarah; Frey, Bruno S.
  2. The Endless Frontier: Reaping what Bush Sowed? By Paula Stephan
  3. A critical regard to the history of econometrics By Erich Pinzón Fuchs

  1. By: Feld, Lars P.; Necker, Sarah; Frey, Bruno S.
    Abstract: This study investigates the determinants of economists' life satisfaction. The analysis is based on a survey of professional, mostly academic economists from European countries and beyond. We find that certain features of economists' professional situation influence their well-being. Happiness is increased by having more research time while the lack of a tenured position decreases satisfaction in particular if the contract expires in the near future or cannot be extended. Surprisingly, publication success has no effect on satisfaction. While the perceived level of external pressure also has no impact, the perceived change of pressure in recent years has. Economists may have accepted a high level of pressure when entering academia but do not seem to be willing to cope with the increase observed in recent years. --
    Keywords: happiness,academic labor market,extrinsic and intrinsic motivation,publish or perish-culture
    JEL: I31 A11 J28
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Paula Stephan
    Abstract: I examine and document how the Endless Frontier changed the research landscape at universities and how universities responded to the initiative. I show that the agencies it established and funded initially recruited research proposals from faculty and applications from students for fellowships and scholarships. By the 1960s the tables had begun to turn and universities had begun to push for more resources from the federal government for research, support for faculty salary and research assistants and higher indirect costs. The process transformed the relationship between universities and federal funders; it also transformed the relationship between universities and faculty. The university research system that has grown and evolved faces a number of challenges that threaten the health of universities and the research enterprise and have implications for discovery and innovation. Five are discussed in the closing section. They are (1) a proclivity on the part of faculty and funding agencies to be risk averse; (2) the tendency to produce more PhDs than the market for research positions demands; (3) a heavy concentration of research in the biomedical sciences; (4) a continued expansion on the part of universities that may place universities at increased financial risk and (5) a flat or declining amount of federal funds for research.
    JEL: I23 I28 O31 O32
    Date: 2013–11
  3. By: Erich Pinzón Fuchs (UP1 UFR02 - Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne - UFR d'Économie - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne - PRES HESAM)
    Abstract: Econometrics has become such an obvious, objective - almost natural - tool that economists often forget that it has a history of its own, a complex and sometimes problematic history. Two works - Morgan (1990) and Qin (1993) - constitute the Received View of the history of econometrics. Basing our analysis on Leo Corry's methodological (and historiographical) framework of image and body of knowledge, the main purpose of this dissertation is to provide a critical account of the Received View. Our main criticism is that historians of econometrics have a particular image of knowledge that stems from within econometrics itself, generating a problem of reflexivity. This means that historians of econometrics would evaluate econometrics and its history from an econometrician point of view, determining very specific criteria of what should be considered as "true", what should be studied or what should be the questions that the scientific community should ask. This reflexive vision has conducted the Received View to write an internalist and funnel-shaped version of the History of Econometrics, presenting it as a lineal process progressing towards the best possible solution: Structural Econometrics and Haavelmo's Probability Approach in Econometrics (1944). The present work suggests that a new history of econometrics is needed. A new history that would overcome the reflexivity problem yielding a certainly messier and convoluted but also richer vision of econometrics' evolution, rather than the lineal path towards progress presented by the Received View.
    Keywords: history of econometrics, economic methodology and philosophy, history of recent economic thought, quantification in economics, image and body of knowledge, reflexivity
    Date: 2013–06–11

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