Intergenerational field transitions in economics

Authors: Facundo Albornoz, Antonio Cabrales, Esther Hauk and Pablo E. Warnes

Economic Letters, Vol. 154, 1-5, May, 2017

This note documents trends of socialization and intergenerational mobility across research networks (fields) in economics. Using data on advisor–advisee pairs, we find that intergenerational field similarity is more prevalent in larger and successful fields. We then show that researchers who do choose different fields than those of their advisors are more likely to switch to highly demanded fields in the job market. These results are consistent with the equilibrium of a model in which advisors’ have concerns for their advisees’ socialization and production outcomes. We also document a positive relation between field productivity and the median level of co-authorship at the field level, which is consistent with complementaries between socialization and productive efforts.