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Why Stars Matter

Ajay Agrawal, John McHale and Alexander Oettl

No 20012, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The growing peer effects literature pays particular attention to the role of stars. We decompose the causal effect of hiring a star in terms of the productivity impact on: 1) co-located incumbents and 2) new recruits. Using longitudinal university department-level data we report that hiring a star does not increase overall incumbent productivity, although this aggregate effect hides offsetting effects on related (positive) versus unrelated (negative) colleagues. However, the primary impact comes from an increase in the average quality of subsequent recruits. This is most pronounced at mid-ranked institutions, suggesting implications for the socially optimal spatial organization of talent.

JEL-codes: I23 J24 O31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-lab, nep-lma, nep-sog and nep-ure
Note: LS PR
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