Time to Go? (Inter)National Mobility and Appointment Success of Young Academics

Abstract

We analyze whether and how young researchers’ (inter)national mobility affects their later appointment success. We use data on 330 researchers from business and economics in Germany, Austria and the German-speaking part of Switzerland and measure appointment success by (a) the time it takes a young researcher to get tenure and by (b) whether the researcher succeeded in getting tenure at a highly ranked institution. We find that international mobility is positively related to the likelihood of getting tenure at a highly ranked institution whereas pre-tenure national mobility is negatively related to both measures of appointment success. The latter effect stems from the period when post-doctoral pre-tenure national mobility was uncommon and created a negative stigma – an effect that vanishes after the introduction of Juniorprofessorships.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Formal mentoring refers to researchers that took part or still take part in a formal mentoring program set up e. g. by a university. Informal mentoring refers to researchers which are not involved in a formal mentoring program, but rather state that they have an informal mentoring relationship such that the mentor (which is not their academic advisor) and the researcher have not been formally assigned to each other, but instead the mentoring relationship emerged “informally” and evolved gradually over time.

  2. 2.

    Controlling for the time a researcher has spent working as a practitioner (in months) between having obtained the doctorate and having received tenure as robustness check does not change our results on the relation between (inter)national mobility and time to tenure. The same is true for using the duration of international mobility in months instead of dummy variables. All results of the different robustness checks are available from the authors upon request.

  3. 3.

    When using the duration of international mobility in months instead of dummy variables, the negative effect of national mobility on the likelihood of getting tenure at a highly ranked institution disappears. All other results remain unchanged.

  4. 4.

    As a further robustness check, we alternatively chose “2001” and “2002” as potential cut-off points for the presumed regime change. While many of our results remain robust to this variation in the cut-off year, having obtained a PhD either before 2000 or in 2000 or later seems to mark the most pronounced regime change.

  5. 5.

    Controlling for the time a researcher has spent working as a practitioner (in months) between having obtained the doctorate and having received tenure does not change these results. Further, the results are robust when using the duration of international mobility in months instead of the different dummy variables.

  6. 6.

    The results on national mobility are robust when using the duration of international mobility in months instead of the different dummy variables. For international mobility we still find the positive effect, however this is now significant for researchers who obtained their doctorate before 2000 and not after.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (program: “Wissenschaftsökonomie”, grant number: 01PW11008). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research had no impact on study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data or the writing of the manuscript. We thank the associate editor and anonymous referee. Also, we are grateful for comments by the participants of the Ökonomisches Kolloqium at IAAEU in Trier 2012, the Fachtagung Innovation, Leistungsmessung und Anreizsysteme in Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft in Munich 2012, the 16th Colloquium on Personnel Economics (COPE) 2013, the 13th Annual Meeting of the European Academy of Management (EURAM) 2013, the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM) 2013, and the XV. Symposium zur Ökonomischen Analyse der Unternehmung (GEABA) 2014. Annika Dehn, Sebastian Kropp, Alessandra Lehmann, Yannick Monschauer, and Manuela Wösle provided excellent research assistance.

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Correspondence to Agnes Bäker or Susanne Breuninger or Julia Muschallik or Kerstin Pull or Uschi Backes-Gellner.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 6 Correlation Matrix: Time to Tenure-Sample
Table 7 Correlation Matrix: Reputation-Sample

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Bäker, A., Breuninger, S., Muschallik, J. et al. Time to Go? (Inter)National Mobility and Appointment Success of Young Academics. Schmalenbach Bus Rev 17, 401–421 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41464-016-0010-y

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Keywords

  • Academic Mobility
  • Career Success
  • Human Capital
  • Social Capital
  • Signaling

JEL Classification

  • I23
  • J24
  • J6