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Congratulations or condolences? The role of human capital in the cultivation of a university administrator

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  • McDowell, John
  • Singell Jr., Larry D.
  • Stater, Mark

Abstract

Administrative skill is essential to organizational effectiveness. Yet, few studies examine how human capital investments over a career affect selection into administration. We use panel data for economists to estimate the probability of choosing administration over a pure academic track. The results show that, while research-specific human capital reduces the probability of becoming an administrator, general human capital increases it. There are also inferior administrative opportunities for women that have not improved over time and variation in the role of human capital according to institutional research mission. Thus, our results suggest academic leaders are not merely born, but cultivated through their human capital investments.

Suggested Citation

  • McDowell, John & Singell Jr., Larry D. & Stater, Mark, 2009. "Congratulations or condolences? The role of human capital in the cultivation of a university administrator," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 258-267, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:258-267
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles T. Clotfelter & Michael Rothschild, 1993. "Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot93-1, January.
    2. Sharon M. Oster & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Aging And Productivity Among Economists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 154-156, February.
    3. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Rothschild, Michael (ed.), 1993. "Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110547, February.
    4. Graves, Philip E & Marchand, James R & Thompson, Randal, 1982. "Economics Departmental Rankings: Research Incentives, Constraints, and Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1131-1141, December.
    5. Hansen, W Lee & Weisbrod, Burton A & Strauss, Robert P, 1978. "Modeling the Earnings and Research Productivity of Academic Economists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 729-741, August.
    6. John M. McDowell & Larry D. Singell Jr. & James P. Ziliak, 2001. "Gender and Promotion in the Economics Profession," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 224-244, January.
    7. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Adam Smith Goes to College: An Economist Becomes an Academic Administrator," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 99-116, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Singell, Larry D. & Tang, Hui-Hsuan, 2013. "Pomp and circumstance: University presidents and the role of human capital in determining who leads U.S. research institutions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 219-233.
    2. John M. McDowell & Larry D. Singell Jr. & Mark Stater, 2011. "On (And Off) the Hot Seat: An Analysis of Entry into and Out of University Administration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(5), pages 889-909, October.
    3. James Monks, 2022. "University Presidential Searches: An Empirical Examination of Internal Versus External Hiring," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 580-601, October.
    4. Amanda H. Goodall & John M. McDowell & Larry D. Singell, 2017. "Do Economics Departments Improve after They Appoint a Top Scholar as Chairperson?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 546-564, November.
    5. Goodall, Amanda H. & McDowell, John M. & Singell, Larry D., 2014. "Leadership and the Research Productivity of University Departments," IZA Discussion Papers 7903, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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