nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒09
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. English Proficiency and Labor Market Performance: Evidence from the Economics Profession By William W. Olney
  2. Does Exposure to Economics Bring New Majors to the Field? Evidence from a natural Experiment. By Hans Fricke; Jeffrey Grogger; Andreas Steinmayr
  3. When the Brightest are not the Best By Marco Valente

  1. By: William W. Olney (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the global spread of the English language provides an inherent advantage to native English speakers. This question is studied within the context of the economics profession, where the impact of being a native English speaker on future publishing success is examined. English speakers may have an advantage since they are writing in their native language, the quality of writing is a crucial determinant of publishing success, and all the top economics journals are published in English. Using a ranking of the world's top 2.5% of economists, this paper confirms that native English speakers are ranked 100 spots higher (better) than similar non-native English speakers. A variety of extensions examine and dispel other potential explanations.
    Keywords: English Language, Research Output, Economist Rankings
    JEL: A11
    Date: 2015–04
  2. By: Hans Fricke; Jeffrey Grogger; Andreas Steinmayr
    Abstract: This study investigates how being exposed to a field of study influences students’ major choices. We exploit a natural experiment at a Swiss university where all first-year students face largely the same curriculum before they choose a major. An important component of the first-year curriculum that varies between students involves a multi-term research paper in business, economics, or law. Due to oversubscription of business, the university assigns the field of the paper in a standardized way that is unrelated to student characteristics. We find that being assigned to write in economics raises the probability of majoring in economics by 2.7 percentage points, which amounts to 18 percent of the share of students who major in economics.
    JEL: A20 I20 I23
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Marco Valente
    Abstract: Selection procedures for new recruits in research organizations, supposedly aiming at identifying the candidates with the highest potential, relies necessarily on indirect information concerning the quality of a researcher. It is safe to assume that this information is correlated to, but not coinciding with, the un-observable future con- tributions of the candidates to a position. We show that using exceedingly selective criteria operating on observable proxy indicators of research quality may hinder the overall goal to ensure the highest expected research quality in the hiring organization. The paper presents a simple abstract model showing how pursuing the absolute best is a strategy very likely to produce results worse than alternative approaches, humbly aiming at identifying the good.
    Keywords: Simulation models, Research assessment, Management of academic institutions
    Date: 2015–04–29

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