Is it where you go or who you know? On the relationship between students, Ph.D. program quality, dissertation advisor prominence, and early career publishing success
Previous research finds that both Ph.D. program quality and relative dissertation advisor prominence are positively related to early-career publishing success. We provide insight into the relative importance of those factors by estimating early-career research productivity functions that: (1) allow relative dissertation advisor prominence to vary while holding Ph.D. program quality constant and (2) allow Ph.D. program quality to vary while holding relative dissertation advisor prominence constant. Results for a sample of 2983 economics Ph.D. recipients suggest that: (1) the estimated marginal effects of relative dissertation advisor prominence do not vary systematically within top Ph.D. programs and (2) students graduating from a program-switching advisor's higher-ranked program publish significantly more than those graduating from his or her lower-ranked program. Combined, these results might suggest that the observed correlation between dissertation advisor prominence and early-career publishing results more from students working with prominent advisors possessing the higher innate potential required to gain admission to top programs rather than strictly because they work with the more prominent advisor.
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"So You Want to Earn a PH.D. in Economics: How Long do you Think it Will Take?,"
Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education
DP-53, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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