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Do large departments make academics more productive? Sorting and agglomeration economies in research

Author

Listed:
  • Clément Bosquet

    (SERC - Spatial Economic Research Center - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Pierre-Philippe Combes

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille, ECON - Département d'économie - Sciences Po)

Abstract

We study how departments’ characteristics impact academics’ quantity and quality of publications in economics. Individual time-varying characteristics and individual fixed-effects are controlled for. Departments’ characteristics have an explanatory power at least equal to a fourth of that of individual characteristics and possibly as high as theirs. An academic’s quantity and quality of publications in a field increase with the presence of other academics specialised in that field and with the share of the field’s output in the department. By contrast, department’s size, proximity to other large departments, homogeneity in terms of publication performance, presence of colleagues with connections abroad, and composition in terms of positions and age matter at least for some publication measures but only when individual fixed effects are not controlled for. This suggests a role for individual positive sorting where these characteristics only attract more able academics. A residual negative sorting between individuals’ and departments’ unobserved characteristics is simultaneously exhibited.

Suggested Citation

  • Clément Bosquet & Pierre-Philippe Combes, 2016. "Do large departments make academics more productive? Sorting and agglomeration economies in research," Working Papers hal-01292851, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01292851 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01292851
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Research productivity; Peer effects; Local externalities;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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