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Sorting and agglomeration economies in French economics departments

Clement Bosquet () and Pierre-Philippe Combes ()

Journal of Urban Economics, 2017, vol. 101, issue C, 27-44

Abstract: Are agglomeration and peer effects at stake in academic research? To tackle this question, we study how departments’ characteristics affect the quantity and quality of academics’ publications in economics in France, controlling for individual time-varying characteristics and individual fixed effects. Department characteristics have an explanatory power at least equal to a quarter of that of individual characteristics and possibly as high as theirs. The quantity and quality of an academic’s publications in a field increase with the presence of other academics specialised in that field and with the share of the department’s publications output in that field. In contrast, department 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 for some publication measures but only if not controlling for individual fixed effects.

Keywords: Research productivity; Local externalities; Skill sorting; Peer effects; Knowledge spillovers; Co-author networks; Economics of science (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R23 J24 I23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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