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Top Research Productivity and its Persistence

  • Kelchtermans, Stijn
  • Veugelers, Reinhilde

The paper contributes to the debate on cumulative advantage effects in academic research by examining top performance in research and its persistence over time, using a panel dataset comprising the publications of biomedical and exact scientists at the KU Leuven in the period 1992-2001. We study the selection of researchers into productivity categories and analyse how they switch between these categories over time. About 25% achieves top performance at least once, while 5% is persistently top. Analysing the hazard to first and subsequent top performance shows strong support for an accumulative process. Rank, gender, hierarchical position and past performance are highly significant explanatory factors.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5415.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5415
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  1. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  2. Pakes, Ariel & Ericson, Richard, 1998. "Empirical Implications of Alternative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-45, March.
  3. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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