How Productive Are Economics and Finance PhDs

Yihui Lan, Kenneth Clements, Zong Ken Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyses the research productivity of more than 200 individuals in academe with a PhD in economics and finance from (mostly) Australian universities. We find the number of publications accumulates linearly with experience, while citations increase exponentially, pointing to network effects. Panel regressions indicate: (1) the key role of experience in determining research outcomes; (2) the usual quadratic approach substantially under-estimates the role of diminishing returns to experience; (3) the university where an individual works is mostly unimportant for publications and citations. ‘Prime academic age’, when research has maximum impact, is attained about 11 years after the PhD. © 2023 The Authors. The Australian Economic Review published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, Faculty of Business and Economics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-461
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian Economic Review
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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