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Alma Mat(t)er(s): determinants of early career success in economics

Popov, Sergey V. ORCID: 2022. Alma Mat(t)er(s): determinants of early career success in economics. PLoS ONE 17 (12) , e0278320. 10.1371/journal.pone.0278320

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 15 November 2022
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2024 10:30

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