“Network Effects in the Academic Market: Mechanisms for Hiring and Placing PhDs in Communication (2007-2014).” Journal of Communication, 2015.

Bo Mai, Jiaying Liu, and Sandra González-Bailón

We analyze hiring and placement dynamics across communication PhD programs using data collected in 2014. We assess changes compared to data collected in 2007, and identify factors that underlie the formation of recruitment ties. Our findings challenge prior conclusions that faculty-hiring patterns offer a proxy to the quality of doctoral education. Instead, we find evidence that the recruitment network results from interorganizational dynamics likely to emerge from faculty mobility; these dynamics, endogenous to the network, manifest in the form of reciprocity, transitivity, and cumulative advantage. Once we control for these characteristics, exogenous factors such as institutional prestige, faculty seniority, and reputational rankings modestly drive the creation of recruitment ties—appearing as secondary forces in the formation of faculty-hiring networks.

Published in Volume 65, Issue 3, pages 558–583