Do Economics Departments Search Optimally in Faculty Recruiting?

University of Colorado Department of Economics Working Paper No. 02-07

30 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2002

See all articles by Yongmin Chen

Yongmin Chen

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Terra McKinnish

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2002

Abstract

Casual observation of faculty searches by economics departments suggests that search scope varies widely. Some departments search primarily in a narrow subfield, while others search in several general or even all fields. This raises two questions: First, what is the optimal search scope for a recruiting department? And second, do departments search optimally? This paper develops a simple search model in which optimal search scope is shown to increase in the quality rank of the department. Using data from 'Job Openings for Economists', we find that higher-ranked departments do indeed conduct broader searches. This relationship is robust to the exclusion of the highest-ranked departments from the sample. We correct for measurement error in department rankings by instrumenting a reputation-based ranking with a publication-based ranking, which increases the magnitude of the quality-rank coefficient. We find that a 10-place difference in department ranking is associated with 3.3-4.6 more JEL subfields listed in a position announcement.

Keywords: Employer Search, Search Scope, Faculty Recruiting, Economics Department Rankings

JEL Classification: J44, J64, D83, L8

Suggested Citation

Chen, Yongmin and McKinnish, Terra, Do Economics Departments Search Optimally in Faculty Recruiting? (June 2002). University of Colorado Department of Economics Working Paper No. 02-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=323220 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.323220

Yongmin Chen

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

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States
303-492-8736 (Phone)
303-492-8960 (Fax)

Terra McKinnish (Contact Author)

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

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States

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