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The Role of Connections in Academic Promotions

  • Zinovyeva, Natalia

    ()

    (CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP))

  • Bagues, Manuel F.

    ()

    (Aalto University)

This paper analyzes the role of connections in academic promotions. We exploit evidence from centralized evaluations in Spain, where evaluators are randomly assigned to promotion committees. We find that prior connections between candidates and evaluators have a dramatic impact on candidates’ success. For instance, the presence of a co-author or an advisor in the committee is equivalent to a standard deviation increase in candidates’ research output. The effect of a weaker link, such as a member of candidate’s doctoral thesis committee, is one fourth as large. The source of the premium enjoyed by connected candidates depends on the nature of their relationship with committee members. In the case of weak links, informational gains tend to dominate evaluation biases. Candidates promoted by a weak link turn out to be more productive in the future relative to other promoted candidates. However, consistently with the existence of cronyism, candidates promoted by a strong connection exhibit a significantly worse research record both before and after the evaluation.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6821.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: American Economic Journals: Applied Economics, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6821
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  1. Durante, Ruben & Labartino, Giovanna & Perotti, Roberto, 2011. "Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia," CEPR Discussion Papers 8645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Zinovyeva, Natalia & Bagues, Manuel F., 2011. "Does Gender Matter for Academic Promotion? Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 5537, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alexander Oettl, 2012. "Reconceptualizing Stars: Scientist Helpfulness and Peer Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(6), pages 1122-1140, June.
  4. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent & Visser, Michael, 2008. "Publish or peer-rich? The role of skills and networks in hiring economics professors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 423-441, June.
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