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Markets for Reputation: Evidence on Quality and Quantity in Academe

  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.
  • Pfann, Gerard Antonie

We develop a theory of the market for individual reputation, an indicator of regard by one’s peers and others. The central questions are: 1) Does the quantity of exposures raise reputation independent of their quality? and 2) Assuming that overall quality matters for reputation, does the quality of an individual’s most important exposure have an extra effect on reputation? Using evidence for academic economists, we find that, conditional on its impact, the quantity of output has no or even a negative effect on each of a number of proxies for reputation, and very little evidence that a scholar’s most influential work provides any extra enhancement of reputation. Quality ranking matters more than absolute quality. Data on mobility and salaries show, on the contrary, substantial positive effects of quantity, independent of quality. We test various explanations for the differences between the determinants of reputation and salary.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7603.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7603
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  1. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2008. "Status incentives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan & John T. Warren, 2010. "Does Raiding Explain The Negative Returns To Faculty Seniority?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 704-721, 07.
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  4. Yianis Sarafidis, 2007. "What Have you Done for me Lately? Release of Information and Strategic Manipulation of Memories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 307-326, 03.
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  11. Ransom, Michael R, 1993. "Seniority and Monopsony in the Academic Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 221-33, March.
  12. Jahn K. Hakes & Raymond D. Sauer, 2006. "An Economic Evaluation of the Moneyball Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 173-186, Summer.
  13. Basu, Kaushik, 1989. "A Theory of Association: Social Status, Prices and Markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 653-71, October.
  14. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  15. Moore, William J & Newman, Robert J & Turnbull, Geoffrey K, 1998. "Do Academic Salaries Decline with Seniority?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 352-66, April.
  16. David J. Faurot & Stephen McAllister, 1992. "Salary Arbitration and Pre-Arbitration Negotiation in Major League Baseball," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 697-710, July.
  17. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796, March.
  18. Aloysius Siow, 1991. "Are First Impressions Important in Academia?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 236-255.
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