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Productivity and Mobility in Academic Research: Evidence from Mathematicians

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  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Rochet, Jean-Charles
  • Schlenker, Jean-Marc

Abstract

Using an exhaustive database on academic publications in mathematics, we study the patterns of productivity by world mathematicians over the period 1984-2006. We uncover some surprising facts, such as the absence of age related decline in productivity and the relative symmetry of international movements, rejecting the presumption of a massive ”brain drain” towards the U.S. Looking at the U.S. academic market in mathematics, we analyze the determinants of success by top departments. In conformity with recent studies in other fields, we find that selection effects are much stronger than local interaction effects: the best departments are most successful in hiring the most promising mathematicians, but not necessarily at stimulating positive externalities among them. Finally we analyze the impact of career choices by mathematicians: mobility almost always pays, but early specialization does not.

Suggested Citation

  • Dubois, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles & Schlenker, Jean-Marc, 2010. "Productivity and Mobility in Academic Research: Evidence from Mathematicians," TSE Working Papers 12-307, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Mar 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:25833
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    1. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1308-1323 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pedro Albarrán & Raquel Carrasco & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2017. "Are Migrants More Productive Than Stayers? Some Evidence From A Set Of Highly Productive Academic Economists," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1308-1323, July.
    3. Bosquet, Clément & Combes, Pierre-Philippe, 2017. "Sorting and agglomeration economies in French economics departments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 27-44.
    4. Bosquet, Clément & Combes, Pierre-Philippe, 2017. "Sorting and agglomeration economies in French economics departments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 27-44.
    5. repec:eee:infome:v:11:y:2017:i:2:p:435-454 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ajay Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb & Florenta Teodoridis, 2016. "Understanding the Changing Structure of Scientific Inquiry," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 100-128, January.
    7. Ajay Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb & Florenta Teodoridis, 2013. "Does Knowledge Accumulation Increase the Returns to Collaboration?," NBER Working Papers 19694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    faculty productivity; organization of research; peer effects in science;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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