Do Economists Swing for the Fences after Tenure?
34 Pages Posted: 23 May 2016 Last revised: 30 Jul 2017
Date Written: June 1, 2017
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: Suggested Citation