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

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Tom Coupé

Tom Coupé

Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC)

Valérie Smeets

Aarhus School of Business; Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Frédéric Warzynski

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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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

Coupé, Tom and Smeets, Valérie and Warzynski, Frédéric, Incentives, Sorting and Productivity Along the Career: Evidence from a Sample of Top Economists. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 137-167, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=915501

Tom Coupé (Contact Author)

Economics Education and Research Consortium (EERC) ( email )

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

Valérie Smeets

Aarhus School of Business ( email )

Haslegaardsvej 10
DK-8210 Aarhus, 8210
Denmark

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

Frédéric Warzynski

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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