What Makes a Good Conference? Analysing the Preferences of Labor Economists

26 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2010

See all articles by Lex Borghans

Lex Borghans

Maastricht University - Department of Economics; University of Maastricht - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Margo Romans

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jan Sauermann

SOFI, Stockholm University; IZA; Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA)

Abstract

Conferences are an important element in the work of researchers, requiring substantial investments in fees, travel expenses and the time spent by the participants. The aim of this paper is to identify the preferences of participants with respect to conference characteristics. Based on a sample of European labour economists, preferences are measured using the vignette approach where participants are asked to choose between hypothetical European Association of Labour Economists (EALE) conferences. We find that the keynote speakers are the most important element in the preference for a conference, followed by the location of the conference. There is substantial heterogeneity in the taste of labour economists especially with respect to location, though the link between preference parameters and measured characteristics like gender, age and seniority is limited. Factor analysis suggests that the variety in preferences can be best described by a latent variable that reflects the weights people put on content versus fun.

Keywords: conference participation, economics profession, vignette-method, random-coefficients model

JEL Classification: A11, J44, C25

Suggested Citation

Borghans, Lex and Romans, Margo and Sauermann, Jan, What Makes a Good Conference? Analysing the Preferences of Labor Economists. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4870, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1587563

Lex Borghans (Contact Author)

Maastricht University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands

University of Maastricht - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, MD6200
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Margo Romans

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Jan Sauermann

SOFI, Stockholm University ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht MD6200
Netherlands

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