That is a new JEL publication (gated) by Kevin D. Hoover and Andrej Svorenčík, here is the abstract: The leadership structure of the American Economic Association is documented using a biographical database covering every officer and losing candidate for AEA offices from 1950 to 2019. The analysis focuses on institutional affiliations by education and employment.
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That is a new JEL publication (gated) by Kevin D. Hoover and Andrej Svorenčík, here is the abstract:
The leadership structure of the American Economic Association is documented using a biographical database covering every officer and losing candidate for AEA offices from 1950 to 2019. The analysis focuses on institutional affiliations by education and employment. The structure is strongly hierarchical. A few institutions dominate the leadership, and their dominance has become markedly stronger over time. Broadly two types of explanations are explored: that institutional dominance is based on academic merit or that it is based on self-perpetuating privilege. Network effects that might explain the dynamic of increasing concentration are also investigated.
The current paper is based on an extensive prosopographical database covering the entire leadership of the AEA over the
1950–2019 period, including all Presidents, Presidents-elect, Vice Presidents, ordinary members of the Executive Committee, as well as the losing candidates for all elective offices, and members of the Nominating Committee.
The 14 institutions in the table account for almost more than 80 percent of the positions for the whole 1950–2019 period. Even within this select group, the distribution is highly skewed with Harvard, the top supplying institution over the period accounting for more than a fifth of the total, and the last five universities accounting for around 2 percent each. The top five institutions, Harvard, MIT, Chicago, Columbia, and Stanford, which we designate as the first tier, account for over half (57.1 percent) of the positions over the whole period…
The authors summarize their findings:
The most obvious lessons are, perhaps, hardly surprising: the AEA leadership is overwhelmingly drawn from a small group of elite, private research universities—in the sense that its leaders were educated at these universities and, to a lesser degree, employed by them. What is less well-known is that for much of the past 70 years, the AEA leadership has been drawn predominantly from just three universities—Harvard, MIT, and Chicago.
By the way, institutional concentration has become more pronounced over time, not less. But since about eighty percent of U.S. students go to state schools, most of those large state schools, I guess we can reconfigure all these panels to have eighty percent state school representation, rather than 80 percent elite school representation. Right? Right?
You may or may not like these facts (I for one am willing to admit to more elitism than are many people), for the time being I will say only this: “Do not listen to what they say, watch what they do!”
Data Source, Economics, Education, Science, Uncategorized