nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2021‒01‒25
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Self-image Bias and Lost Talent By Marciano Siniscalchi; Pietro Veronesi
  2. Academic Careers and Fertility Decisions By De Paola, Maria; Nistico, Roberto; Scoppa, Vincenzo
  3. Remarks for the Session: “Increasing Diversity in Economics: From Students to Professors” By Loretta J. Mester
  4. Fifty shades of QE: Conflicts of interest in economic research By Fabo, Brian; Jančoková, Martina; Kempf, Elisabeth; Pástor, Luboš

  1. By: Marciano Siniscalchi; Pietro Veronesi
    Abstract: We propose an overlapping-generations model in which established researchers evaluate the research of new researchers. All researchers are differentially endowed with equally desirable research characteristics and belong to two groups, M or F, which have identical ex-ante productivity distributions. Evaluations are group-blind. Yet, when research is evaluated on many characteristics, evaluators' self-image bias and mild between-group heterogeneity lead the initially larger group, say M, to dominate indefinitely. M-researchers only accept the research of young scholars with characteristics close to theirs. Promoted F-researchers are thus few and "similar" to M-researchers, perpetuating the asymmetry. This talent loss is exacerbated by candidates' career concerns and institutions' focus on hiring faculty whose research will be approved by established researchers. Mentorship reduces group imbalance, but it increases the F-group talent loss. Affirmative action reduces both. Our model's predictions are consistent with existing empirical evidence on female participation in academic economics.
    JEL: A11 J16 J7
    Date: 2020–12
  2. By: De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria); Nistico, Roberto (University of Naples Federico II); Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: We investigate how academic promotions affect the propensity of women to have a child. We use administrative data on the universe of female assistant professors employed in Italian universities from 2001 to 2018. We estimate a model with individual fixed effects and find that promotion to associate professor increases the probability of having a child by 0.6 percentage points, which translates into an increase by 12.5% of the mean. This result is robust to employing a Regression Discontinuity Design in which we exploit the eligibility requirements in terms of research productivity introduced since 2012 by the Italian National Scientific Qualification (NSQ) as an instrument for qualification (and therefore promotion) to associate professor. Our finding provides important policy implications in that reducing uncertainty on career prospects may lead to an increase in fertility.
    Keywords: fertility, promotion, academic career, career uncertainty
    JEL: J13 J65 J41 M51 C31
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Loretta J. Mester
    Abstract: I thank Stacy Dickert-Conlin for the opportunity to discuss two papers in this session: “Promoting Female Interest in Economics: Limits to Nudges,” by Todd Pugatch and Elizabeth Schroeder (2020), and “Can Positive Feedback Increase Female and Minority Undergraduates into Economics?” by Kelly Bedard, Jacquie Dodd, and Shelly Lundberg (2020). The papers I am discussing today are both systematic investigations of whether particular types of nudges can interest more women and minorities to go into the field of economics.
    Keywords: diversity; economics
    Date: 2021–01–04
  4. By: Fabo, Brian; Jančoková, Martina; Kempf, Elisabeth; Pástor, Luboš
    Abstract: Central banks sometimes evaluate their own policies. To assess the inherent conflict of interest, we compare the research findings of central bank researchers and academic economists regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing (QE). We find that central bank papers report larger effects of QE on output and inflation. Central bankers are also more likely to report significant effects of QE on output and to use more positive language in the abstract. Central bankers who report larger QE effects on output experience more favorable career outcomes. A survey of central banks reveals substantial involvement of bank management in research production.
    JEL: A11 E52 E58 G28
    Date: 2021

This nep-sog issue is ©2021 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.