, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 1669–1701 | Cite as

Productivity and mobility in academic research: evidence from mathematicians

  • Pierre Dubois
  • Jean-Charles Rochet
  • Jean-Marc SchlenkerEmail author


Using an exhaustive database on academic publications in mathematics all over the world, we study the patterns of productivity by mathematicians over the period 1984–2006. We uncover some surprising facts, such as the weakness of age related decline in productivity and the relative symmetry of international movements, rejecting the presumption of a massive “brain drain” towards the US. We also analyze the determinants of success by top US departments. In conformity with recent studies in other fields, we find that selection effects are much stronger than local interaction effects: the best departments are most successful in hiring the most promising mathematicians, but not necessarily at stimulating positive externalities among them. Finally we analyze the impact of career choices by mathematicians: mobility almost always pays, but early specialization does not.


Faculty productivity Organization of research Peer effects in science 

JEL Classification

D85 I23 J24 L31 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Dubois
    • 1
  • Jean-Charles Rochet
    • 2
  • Jean-Marc Schlenker
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Toulouse School of EconomicsToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Swiss Finance Institute and Toulouse School of Economics (IDEI)University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Mathematics Research UnitUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourg CityLuxembourg

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