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Meritocracy in Academic Labor Markets: A Comparison of Three Fields

Michael Ransom (), Michael J. Hilmer () and Christiana E. Hilmer
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Michael J. Hilmer: San Diego State University
Christiana E. Hilmer: San Diego State University

The Journal of Economic Inequality, 2022, vol. 20, issue 2, No 9, 465-481

Abstract: Abstract We analyze the pay of faculty members of economics, mathematics, and marketing departments at large public universities in the United States. Using the Web of Science, we have identified the journal articles published by these scholars and the number of times each of these articles has been cited by other scholars in published work. We find that the frequency of highly-cited papers, as measured by the Hirsch index, is a strong predictor of pay. Furthermore, we show that this impact varies significantly across these disciplines, with pay in economics being much more strongly linked to a professor’s publication success than is the case for the other fields. This pattern holds within departments and across departments.

Keywords: Academic labor market; Hirsch index; Research productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10888-021-09502-w

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