A simple stochastic model of promotions is used to estimate the effects of cohort, scientific field, and sex on the rate of productivity of promotion capital (in this case, scientific papers) and promotion standards. The model follows the Yule pure birth process, which is characterized by two parameters. The birth rate is interpreted as an index of productivity representing the rate of production of capital (papers) necessary for promotion. A target level of output is interpreted as representing the criteria for promotion. Data from the NSF Registry of Scientific Personnel and the American Education Council are used to estimate the parameters of this process applied to the promotion of academic scientists to associate professor, full professor, and to tenure. Difficulties in application of the model to comparisons across time, scientific field, and gender are mentioned.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.