November 2018

IZA DP No. 11976: Early Career Research Production in Economics: Does Mentoring Matter?

Andrés García-Suaza, Jesus Otero, Rainer Winkelmann

We assess the role played by advisory supervision on the early stage productivity of recent PhDs in economics using a tailor-made data set based on RePEc. After allowing for the potential effects of other relevant determinants, including gender and field of specialisation, we find as expected that both advisory quality and rank of the graduation institution are positively related to the academic productivity of graduates. However, students in top institutions do not benefit from working with the most productive academics, unless they become co-authors. For students in non-top institutions, being advised by the best academics is always associated with a higher research output. Possible explanations for this difference can be advising styles, with advisors in top-institutions devoting less time to their advisees unless they are co-authors, or a larger role of learning from peers, relative to advisors, in top-institutions.