Gerard A. Pfann

Faculty of Quantitative Economics
Maastricht University


NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2009Markets for Reputation: Evidence on Quality and Quantity in Academe
with Daniel S. Hamermesh: w15527
We develop a theory of the market for individual reputation, an indicator of regard by one's peers and others. The central questions are: 1) Does the quantity of exposures raise reputation independent of their quality? and 2) Assuming that overall quality matters for reputation, does the quality of an individual's most important exposure have an extra effect on reputation? Using evidence for academic economists, we find that, conditional on its impact, the quantity of output has no or even a negative effect on each of a number of proxies for reputation, and very little evidence that a scholar's most influential work provides any extra enhancement of reputation. Quality ranking matters more than absolute quality. Data on mobility and salaries show, on the contrary, substantial positive e...

Published: "Reputation and Earnings: The Role of Quality and Quantity in Academe," Economic Inquiry, 50(1): 1-16 (January 2012)

July 1997Business Success and Businesses' Beauty Capital
with Ciska M. Bosman, Jeff E. Biddle, Daniel S. Hamermesh: w6083
We examine whether a difference in pay for beauty is supported by different productivity of people according to looks. Using a sample of advertising firms, we find that those firms with better-looking executives have higher revenues and faster growth than do otherwise identical firms whose executives are not so good-looking. The impact on revenue far exceeds the likely effect of beauty on the executives' wages. This suggests that their beauty creates firm-specific investments, in the form of improved relationships within work groups, the returns to which are shared by the firm and the executive.

Published: "Business success and businesses' beauty capital" Economics Letters, Vol 93, 3 (December 2006) Pages 201-207 Gerard A. Pfann, Jeff E. Biddle, Daniel S. Hamermesh and Ciska M. Bosman citation courtesy of

October 1992Turnover and the Dynamics of Labor Demand
with Daniel S. Hamermesh: w4204
The theory of the dynamics of labor demand is based either on the costs of adjusting the level of employment or on the costs of hiring or firing (of gross changes in employment). We write down a generalized cost of adjustment function that includes both types of cost and allows for asymmetries in those costs. We derive the firm's rational-expectations profit - maximizing path of employment demand and the Euler equation whose parameters we estimate. Identifying the two types of costs requires complete data on turnover, which were available for the U.S. through 1981. We use these data for manufacturing to demonstrate that both types of adjustment cost figure in the representative firm's profit-maximizing decisions about employment, and that both types of cost are asymmetric (leading here to ...

Published: Economica, Vol.63, No.3, pp.359-367, August 1996. citation courtesy of

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