, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 793–817 | Cite as

Do the best scholars attract the highest speaking fees? An exploration of internal and external influence

  • Ho Fai Chan
  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Jana Gallus
  • Markus Schaffner
  • Benno TorglerEmail author
  • Stephen Whyte


This study investigates whether academics can capitalize on their external prominence (measured by the number of pages indexed on Google, TED talk invitations or New York Times bestselling book successes) and internal success within academia (measured by publication and citation performance) in the speakers’ market. The results indicate that the larger the number of web pages indexing a particular scholar, the higher the minimum speaking fee. Invitations to speak at a TED event, or making the New York Times Best Seller list is also positively correlated with speaking fees. Scholars with a stronger internal impact or success also achieve higher speaking fees. However, once external impact is controlled, most metrics used to measure internal impact are no longer statistically significant.


Academic performance Scholarly Importance Social importance of scientists External and internal influence Book prizes Book bestsellers TED talks 



For advice and suggestions thanks are due to two anonymous referees.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ho Fai Chan
    • 1
  • Bruno S. Frey
    • 2
    • 5
  • Jana Gallus
    • 3
  • Markus Schaffner
    • 1
  • Benno Torgler
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Stephen Whyte
    • 1
  1. 1.Queensland Behavioural Economics Group (QuBE), School of Economics and FinanceQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Warwick Business School, University of Warwick and Department of EconomicsZeppelin UniversityFriedrichshafenGermany
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.ISBS, EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und RechtOestrich-WinkelGermany
  5. 5.CREMA – Center for Research in EconomicsManagement and the ArtsZurichSwitzerland

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