Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Publications, Citations, Position, and Compensation of Economics Professors

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With 291 person-year observations from the UCSD economics department, we find that the number of publications in top-5 economics journals and non-top-5 journals, time elapsed since obtaining Ph.D., and job rank (assistant, associate, or full professor) explain 81 percent of variations in faculty salary. A top-5 publication is associated with a 2.8 percent increase in salary, and a non-top-5 publication 0.6 percent, while grants are insignificant. The number of citations has a nonlinear effect on pay: it has no effect below 400, but ‘stars’ with at least 1,000 citations earn significantly more. Our results are robust to using the 2017 cross-section of economics departments across the entire University of California system, though the coefficients on publications become smaller. We find no evidence of a gender gap either within UCSD or across all UC campuses.