Resume Padding Among Economists

57 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2012

See all articles by Christopher M. Snyder

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research

Owen M. Zidar

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: December 1, 2011


Abstract: The policy of the American Economic Review (AER) to publish unrefereed papers in the same volume as refereed ones gives economists the opportunity to pad their resumes by trying to pass Papers & Proceedings off as refereed AER articles. Using unique data on curricula vitae of economists at the top 25 U.S. economics departments, we provide preliminary evidence in support of deliberate obfuscation. Economists with more Papers & Proceedings are more likely to list them in a way that is difficult to distinguish from refereed ones. We then go on to provide support for a more benign explanation, that the convention guiding how one should document Papers & Proceedings is in transition and varies across communities of scholars. We provide a series of difference-in-differences analyses of citation behavior, both at the level of demographic groups and individuals, showing that economists who cite Papers & Proceedings more tend to be the ones who “pad” more, suggesting both are correlated with an additional latent factor — a judgment about the journal’s prestige.

Keywords: information, conventions, economics profession, curriculum vitae

JEL Classification: D83, K42, A11

Suggested Citation

Snyder, Christopher M. and Zidar, Owen M., Resume Padding Among Economists (December 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Christopher M. Snyder (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
(603) 646-0642 (Phone)
(603) 646-2122 (Fax)


National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Owen M. Zidar

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics