Academia or the Private Sector? Sorting of Agents into Institutions and an Outside Sector

This paper develops an equilibrium sorting model with utility maximizing agents (researchers) on one side of the market, and on the other side institutions (universities) and an outside sector. Researchers are assumed to care about peer effects, their relative status within universities, and salary compensation. They differ in their concern for salary compensation as well as in their ability. We derive the unique stable equilibrium allocation of researchers and investigate the effects on the academic sector of changes in the outside option as well as the interaction between the outside option and the researchers' concern for relative status. In any equilibrium, the right hand side of the ability distribution is allocated to the academic sector, while the left hand side of the ability distribution is allocated to the outside sector, with possible overlap between sectors and within the academic sector. The universities' qualities are determined endogenously, and we show that an increase in the value of the outside option decreases the difference in quality between the higher and lower ranked universities. Furthermore, differences in average salaries between the institutions arise endogenously.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
D02; C78; D83
Series Statement:
Working Paper No. 1198

 Record created 2018-06-19, last modified 2020-10-28

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