Incentives, Sorting and Productivity Along the Career: Evidence from a Sample of Top Economists

Posted: 22 Oct 2005

See all articles by Frederic Warzynski

Frederic Warzynski

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics

Tom Coupé

Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC)

Valerie Smeets

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

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Abstract

In this paper we study empirically the labor market of economists. We look at the mobility and promotion patterns of a sample of 1,000 top economists over thirty years and link it to their productivity and other personal characteristics. We find that the probability of promotion and of upward mobility is positively related to past production. However, the sensitivity of promotion and mobility to production diminishes with experience, indicating the presence of a learning process. We also find evidence that economists respond to incentives. They tend to exert more effort at the beginning of their career when dynamic incentives are important. This finding is robust to the introduction of tenure, which has an additional negative ex post impact on production. Our results indicate therefore that both promotions and tenure have an effect on the provision of incentives. Finally, we detect evidence of a sorting process, as the more productive individuals are allocated to the higher ranked universities.

Suggested Citation

Warzynski, Frederic and Coupé, Tom and Smeets, Valerie, Incentives, Sorting and Productivity Along the Career: Evidence from a Sample of Top Economists. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=822229

Frederic Warzynski (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics ( email )

hermodsvej 22
DK-8230 Åbyhøj
Denmark
+45 89 48 61 95 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hha.dk/~fwa/frederic.htm

Tom Coupé

Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC) ( email )

vul. Yakira, 13, 3d floor, suite 334
04070 Kiev, 04119
Ukraine

Valerie Smeets

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

E-28903 Getafe (Madrid)
Spain

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