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Do Economists Swing for the Fences after Tenure?

34 Pages Posted: 23 May 2016 Last revised: 30 Jul 2017

Jonathan Brogaard

University of Washington - Department of Finance and Business Economics

Joseph Engelberg

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Edward Dickersin Van Wesep

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Finance

Date Written: June 1, 2017

Abstract

Using a sample of all academics who pass through top 50 economics and finance departments from 1996 through 2014, we study whether the granting of tenure leads faculty to pursue riskier ideas. We use the extreme tails of ex-post citations as our measure of risk and find that both the number of publications and the portion consisting of “home runs” peak at tenure and fall steadily for a decade thereafter. Similar patterns hold for faculty at elite (top 10) institutions and for faculty who take differing time to tenure. We find the opposite pattern among poorly-cited publications: their numbers rise steadily both pre- and post-tenure.

Keywords: Tenure, Incentives, Contracting, Compensation, Publication

JEL Classification: J24, J33, J44, M12, M52

Suggested Citation

Brogaard, Jonathan and Engelberg, Joseph and Van Wesep, Edward Dickersin, Do Economists Swing for the Fences after Tenure? (June 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2781693

Jonathan Brogaard

University of Washington - Department of Finance and Business Economics ( email )

Box 353226
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Joseph Engelberg

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Edward Dickersin Van Wesep (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Finance ( email )

Campus Box 419
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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