Quantity vs. Quality (of Papers) and Econ Profs

December 1, 2009

A new study examines an unusual situation within economics: Writing more papers can be linked with higher salaries for professors but also with lower reputations. Writing about the work, Daniel Hamermesh of the University of Texas at Austin, and co-author of the study, says: "The question is why writing more (essentially ignored) papers has opposite effects on reputation and salary? Are university administrators ignorant, rewarding something visible that in fact reduces the scholar’s quality, as measured by his/her colleagues? We tested lots of explanations for the anomaly, but none described it well." The paper was published by the National Bureau for Economic Research and the other author is Gerard Pfann of Maastricht University.

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