Does Productivity Decline After Promotion? The Case of French Academia


  • I would like to thank Anna Risch for her invaluable help in managing the dataset. I also thank Stephen Bazen and everyone who took part in the Careers in Academia research project for their helpful comments, in particular Christine Musselin and Frédérique Pigeyre. The Ministry of Higher Education (Bureau Etudes Prévionnelles – DGRH-A1) is acknowledged for giving access to data. This research was funded by the National Research Agency (ANR – TRAJUNI Project).


The present research examined the effect of promotion decisions on ex-post productivity in French academia. As, once promotion decisions are known, most external incentives vanish for promoted candidates, their productivity was expected to decrease. This hypothesis was tested by using an original dataset and matching methods to evaluate the impact of promotion on publication scores. The robustness of the matching estimates was tested using sensitivity analysis. The results clearly show that the removal of extrinsic incentives following promotion does not lead to a fall in productivity in French academia.