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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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:4:p:546-564 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Goodall, Amanda H. & McDowell, John M. & Singell, Larry D., 2014. "Leadership and the Research Productivity of University Departments," IZA Discussion Papers 7903, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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