The Role of Connections in Academic Promotions
38 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2012 Last revised: 16 Oct 2014
Date Written: January 22, 2014
This paper analyzes how evaluators' private information and subjective biases affect promotion decisions in academia. We exploit evidence from centralized evaluations in Spain, where evaluators are randomly assigned to promotion committees. Candidates are significantly more likely to be promoted when they are evaluated by an acquainted evaluator, but the source of the premium depends on the nature of this relationship. Our findings suggest that, when candidates are evaluated by their Ph.D. advisor, a colleague or a co-author, evaluation biases dominate the potential impact of informational gains. On the contrary, weaker links may improve the efficiency of the selection process.
Keywords: academic promotion, connections, information asymmetry
JEL Classification: J44, M51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation