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The Internal Economics of a University: Evidence from Personnel Data

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  • Catherine Haeck
  • Frank Verboven

Abstract

Using a rich personnel data set of a large European university we find strong evidence for the existence of an internal labor market. First, there is a strong port of entry at the lowest academic rank and in fact even prior to entering professorship, resulting in very long internal careers. Second, wages do not follow external wage developments. We subsequently consider various incentive theories regarding the dynamics of promotions, as organized through annual tournaments. As expected, a rigid set of research and teaching criteria determine the speed of promotions. At the same time, administrative rigidities play an important role.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Haeck & Frank Verboven, 2012. "The Internal Economics of a University: Evidence from Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 591-626.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/664946
    DOI: 10.1086/664946
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    Cited by:

    1. Brösamle, Klaus J & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2011. "Paths to higher office: evidence from the Swedish Civil Service," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2011:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Pascal Courty & John Sim, 2015. "Retention of talented academic researchers: Evidence from a government intervention," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(5), pages 1635-1660, December.
    3. John Sim & Pascal Courty, 2012. "What Is The Cost Of Retaining And Attracting Exceptional Talents? Evidence From The Canada Research Chair Program," Working Paper 1294, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    4. Karachiwalla, Naureen & Park, Albert, 2017. "Promotion incentives in the public sector: Evidence from Chinese schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 109-128.
    5. Zhang, Haifeng & Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Yanfeng, 2019. "Do tournament incentives matter in academics? Evidence from personnel data in a top-tier university in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 84-106.
    6. Geys, Benny & Heggedal, Tom-Reiel & Sørensen, Rune J., 2017. "Are bureaucrats paid like CEOs? Performance compensation and turnover of top civil servants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 47-54.
    7. Juho Jokinen & Jaakko Pehkonen, 2017. "Promotions and Earnings – Gender or Merit? Evidence from Longitudinal Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 306-334, September.
    8. Stracke, Rudi & Sunde, Uwe, 2014. "Dynamic Incentive Effects of Heterogeneity in Multi-Stage Promotion Contests," IZA Discussion Papers 8368, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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