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The Role of Connections in Academic Promotions

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  • Natalia Zinovyeva
  • Manuel Bagues

Abstract

This paper analyzes how evaluators' private information and subjective biases affect evaluations in academia. We use evidence from centralized selection exams in Spain, where evaluators are randomly assigned to promotion committees. Candidates are significantly more likely to be promoted when they are evaluated by an acquainted evaluator, but the source of the premium depends on the nature of this relationship. Our findings suggest that, when candidates are evaluated by their PhD adviser, a colleague or a coauthor, evaluation biases dominate the potential impact of informational gains. Weaker links, on the other hand, may improve the efficiency of the selection process. (JEL D82, I23, J44, M51)

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Zinovyeva & Manuel Bagues, 2015. "The Role of Connections in Academic Promotions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 264-292, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:264-92
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20120337
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Natalia Zinovyeva & Manuel F. Bagues, 2010. "Does gender matter for academic promotion? Evidence from a randomized natural experiment," Working Papers 2010-15, FEDEA.
    2. Ruben Durante & Giovanna Labartino & Roberto Perotti, 2011. "Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia," NBER Working Papers 17572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent & Visser, Michael, 2008. "Publish or peer-rich? The role of skills and networks in hiring economics professors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 423-441, June.
    4. Alexander Oettl, 2012. "Reconceptualizing Stars: Scientist Helpfulness and Peer Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(6), pages 1122-1140, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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