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Why Business Schools Do So Much Research: A Signaling Explanation

  • Damien Besancenot

    ()

    (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (ancienne affiliation) - Université Paris XIII - Paris Nord - CNRS : UMR7115)

  • Joao Faria

    ()

    (Department of Economics - Nottingham Business School)

  • Radu Vranceanu

    ()

    (Economics Department - ESSEC Business School)

Criticism is mounting on business schools for their excessive focus on research and for neglecting teaching. We show that if students have imperfect information about a school's overall capabilities and if business schools differ in their research productivity, the least productive schools may do as much research as the top-tier ones only to manipulate students' expectations. In turn, the most productive schools might resort to excess research in order to signal their type in the eyes of future students. This signaling equilibrium is characterized by a relative neglect of teaching by the top-tier schools. Such a situation is socially inefficient as compared to the perfect information case.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series CEPN Working Papers with number halshs-00241259.

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Date of creation: 17 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cepnwp:halshs-00241259
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00241259
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  1. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2006. "Can Incentives for Research Harm Research? A Business Schools Tale," ESSEC Working Papers DR 06003, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  2. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Arjo Klamer, 2005. "Is Science A Case of Wasteful Competition?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 395-414, 07.
  3. Tom Coupé, 2004. "What Do We Know about Ourselves? on the Economics of Economics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 197-215, 05.
  4. Arthur M. Diamond, 1993. "Economic Explanations of the Behaviour of Universities and Scholars," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(4/5), pages 107-133, September.
  5. David N. Laband & Robert D. Tollison, 2003. "Dry Holes in Economic Research," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 161-173, 05.
  6. Michael Spence, 2002. "Signaling in Retrospect and the Informational Structure of Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 434-459, June.
  7. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  8. J. S. Armstrong, 2005. "The Devil s Advocate Responds to an MBA Student s Claim that Research Harms Learning," General Economics and Teaching 0502008, EconWPA.
  9. Siow, Aloysius, 1997. "Some evidence on the signalling role of research in academia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 271-276, July.
  10. Elizabeth Becker & Cotton M. Lindsay & Gary Grizzle, 2003. "The derived demand for faculty research," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(8), pages 549-567.
  11. Besancenot, Damien & Huynh, Kim & Vranceanu, Radu, 2006. "The "Read or Write" Dilemma in Academic Production: A European Perspective," ESSEC Working Papers DR 06021, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
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