Alma Mat(t)er(s): Determinants of Early Career Success in Economics

42 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2014 Last revised: 17 Oct 2014

See all articles by Sascha Baghestanian

Sascha Baghestanian

Goethe University; Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE

Sergey V. Popov

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School

Date Written: October 16, 2014

Abstract

We study 6000 author-publication observations to investigate predictors of early career success in six fields of Economics. Concentrating on top researchers enables us to control for the effects of ability and effort, and focusing on the start of their careers minimizes distortions from reputation feedback. Our results reveal that the most important predictor for early career success is the ranking of an author's PhD granting institution, followed by his first placement. Our insights suggest that a counterfactual decrease in the Alma mater of a high ability author, who graduated from a top 10 university, by as little as 10 to 20 ranks, reduces his probability of getting a top 5 publication significantly by 13 percentage points. Lowering the ranking of his Alma mater by another 80 ranks decreases his chances of getting a top publication by a factor of three. Our findings suggest that the Economics publication market values Alma mater signals, discounting newcomers graduating from- or working at lower ranked departments.

Keywords: academia, publishing, journals, Alma mater, affiliation

JEL Classification: A11, I23, I24, J44

Suggested Citation

Baghestanian, Sascha and Popov, Sergey V., Alma Mat(t)er(s): Determinants of Early Career Success in Economics (October 16, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506817 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2506817

Sascha Baghestanian (Contact Author)

Goethe University ( email )

Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
D-60323
Frankfurt, Hessen 60323
Germany

Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE ( email )

(http://www.safe-frankfurt.de)
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Sergey V. Popov

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

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