A QUALITY-ADJUSTMENT MODEL OF THE ACADEMIC LABOR MARKET: THE CASE OF ECONOMISTS

Authors

  • WILLIAM J. MOORE,

  • ROBERT J. NEWMAN,

  • JOHN RAISIAN,

  • R. WILLIAM THOMAS

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    • *The authors are respectively: Professor of Economics at Miami University; Assistant Professor of Economics at Miami University; Senior Economist at the Office of Research and Evaluation, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; and Assistant Director of Economics at the Institute for Defense Analysis. We gratefully thank our colleague James Cunningham and an anonymous referee for helpful suggestions. We also wish to thank Don Lau and Jill Bickmore for their able research assistance.


Abstract

This paper uses some new data on the initial academic placements of new Ph.D. economists to test a quality-adjustment model, which is consistent with the hypothesis that most academic appointments follow a “downstream” pattern. By the use of weighted least squares the authors confirm the importance of the perceived quality of the faculty of the degree granting program, the publishing performance of former graduates of these programs, and the student/faculty ratio of these programs in economics over the period 1960 to 1978. Finally, it is shown that contrary to popular opinion, the extent of the “downstream” pattern has not been magnified in the so-called buyers markets of the 1970's.

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