DP7603 Markets for Reputation: Evidence on Quality and Quantity in Academe

Author(s): Daniel S. Hamermesh, Gerard Antonie Pfann
Publication Date: December 2009
Keyword(s): mobility, quality/quantity trade-off, salary determination
JEL(s): J31, L14
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7603

We develop a theory of the market for individual reputation, an indicator of regard by one’s peers and others. The central questions are: 1) Does the quantity of exposures raise reputation independent of their quality? and 2) Assuming that overall quality matters for reputation, does the quality of an individual’s most important exposure have an extra effect on reputation? Using evidence for academic economists, we find that, conditional on its impact, the quantity of output has no or even a negative effect on each of a number of proxies for reputation, and very little evidence that a scholar’s most influential work provides any extra enhancement of reputation. Quality ranking matters more than absolute quality. Data on mobility and salaries show, on the contrary, substantial positive effects of quantity, independent of quality. We test various explanations for the differences between the determinants of reputation and salary.