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Aging and Productivity, Rationality and Matching: Evidence from Economists


  • Daniel S. Hamermesh


Economists' productivity, as measured by publication in leading journals, declines very sharply with age. Additional evidence shows that this is a rational response to economic incentives and/or changing physical or mental abilities: There is no difference by age in the probability that an article submitted to a leading journal will be accepted. The probability of acceptance does show increasing heterogeneity with age that is related to the author's quality, consistent with models of optimal investment in human capital and especially with occupational matching models.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Aging and Productivity, Rationality and Matching: Evidence from Economists," NBER Working Papers 4906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4906
    Note: LS

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sauer, Raymond D, 1988. "Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Coauthorship in Economic Academia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 855-866, August.
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
    3. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-1120, December.
    4. Blank, Rebecca M, 1991. "The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing: Experimental Evidence from The American Economic Review," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1041-1067, December.
    5. Tuckman, Howard P & Leahey, Jack, 1975. "What Is an Article Worth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(5), pages 951-967, October.
    6. Ehrenberg, Ronald G, 1992. "The Flow of New Doctorates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 830-875, June.
    7. Stigler, George J & Stigler, Stephen M & Friedland, Claire, 1995. "The Journals of Economics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 331-359, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Paul J. Pieper & Rachel A. Willis, 1995. "Would Reducing Tenure Probabilities Increase Faculty Salaries?," NBER Working Papers 5150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts


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